Tuesday, September 29, 2009


This is the finished bedroom...when I look at this picture I think it doesn't really do the room justice....overall it looks sunny and cozy now...the bed is just the right size and it's very comfy. I so look forward to the evening now so I can get in my PJ's and take a cup of tea and get into bed and read....speaking of which, I just finished "The Lace Reader" and now I'm on to "Odd and the Frost Giants"...what are you reading lately?

Monday, September 28, 2009

The boy

Senior Pictures....sniff...weep...he's not a boy anymore...I'm just so proud of this guy :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

How to "Half Ass" Curtains

This is how I made my new bedroom curtains...and this is also why I was a complete failure in my previous sewing incarnation as a custom window treatment maker....I'm not good at "precise"...

So, my thinking while I was measuring my window was this: from the top of the window casing to the bottom of the window sill is 60 inches...add 4 inches for the top header and rod casing and 4 inches for a 2 inch double hem and you get 68 inches. Two panels, 68 inches long, simple! EXCEPT, I only have one 50 inch by 57 ish inch length of the fabric I love and want to use...gorgeous fabric, buttery yellow with what looks like hand painted watercolor flowers and beautiful embroidered leaves, but I digress...back to my not enough fabric...not a problem ,I think, I have more white muslin...I will add lengths of the muslin to the sides and to the bottom to kind of picture frame the gorgeous fabric (I could add a strip of it to the top to REALLY frame it but I am too lazy for that, so three sides will have to do).
Next, put the baby down for her nap and then go downstairs and lay the fabric out and start cutting...cut off the extra bits on the side to make the piece kind of even and then cut it down the middle to make two 25 ish by 57 ish panels (and the only way I could get the 57 inch length was to put the fabric on its side so technically all the flowers are sideways, but i don't think it's too big a deal...hopefully no one will stare at them long enough to notice).
Fold the 90 inch wide muslin in fourths lay it on the floor and lay the flower fabric panels over it, I'm thinking that each curtain will be comprised of two 25 inch muslin panels and one 25 inch flower panel...which I realize as soon as I cut the fabric and there is no going back, that this will not only make each panel 75 inches wide (way to much for a small window) but doesn't leave me enough muslin left over to make the bottom panels. But, not to worry, I figure I will just split one of the muslin panels down the middle, sew to each side of the flower fabric, making each panel 50 inches wide and use the left over panels for the bottom...like this...
Now, this is where I get really lazy.. at this point I have no idea how long these panels are, because I am having trouble adding 57 and 25 in my head (I have lost many brain cells due to childbirth, age, wine....)and I can't find my tape measure to find out, but I am pretty sure they are longer than windowsill length. In fact, I am reasonably certain that they are way too long...but, then I remember, I just saw some stupid ad for Cindy Crawford's new home decor line and in it she said you should have three square pillows at the head of your bed AND your curtains should puddle on the floor...BINGO! This works for me! Especially since I am too lazy to go upstairs and remeasure the window and no way in hell am I going to risk waking up the baby while doing so, I just carry on...hem the edges, make the heading, hem the bottom and I'm done! Now, mind you, nothing is even on these curtains, not a square edges to be seen...but they're supposed to be gathered and full and who cares?...right?!

I do want to add a disclaimer at this point for any of my sewing students: I do know how to make curtains properly and will teach you the correct way, do as I say, not as I do. You can go on to half ass your own curtains later.

So, the baby woke up, rolled around on the curtains (I had to put this photo in...look at those FEET!)
And then I hung the curtains...and sadly, I do not live up to Ms. Crawford's standards (in ANY way shape or form)...by some fluke the curtains do not puddle, but they do hang pretty close to the floor , so there! And they're nice...the sun shining through the flower fabric looks kind of like stained glass and the white muslin keeps the whole thing looking airy and breezy, and best of all, they block out "The VIEW". So there you have it...next up: "sewing" with a glue gun ;)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Indian Summer Afternoon

Last swim of the year....

The View

Look! there's even some wildlife going on! Oh no, that's just our former fat cat who left us for our neighbor who feeds him fish every day...traitor!

Isn't this a lovely view? Over the weekend I discovered a couple of new blogs. One by an Englishwoman (Curlew Country) and one by a Swede (Annas Dagar) living in, I think, Denmark. Really beautiful and inspiring blogs. Since I've always had an itch to live "somewhere else", this blogging thing is really perfect for me. I get to get a glimpse into the everyday lives of people all over the world who have some of the same interests that I do...love it so much! So, back to the "View" and the new blogs. On both of these blogs there are photos of the absolutely gorgeous views from their homes....oh to live somewhere like that...sigh...seriously, I DO dream about it...houses inhabit my dreams regularly. While we were putting together our new bed this weekend I looked out the window and I had to laugh, remembering the bucolic and serene English and Danish countryside depicted on my new favorite blogs....this is what I see....it's actually a little better lately (and I do know about the shanty town's changing nature since I have lived here for going on 17 years now) because the shacks are now caving in and there are trees and all sorts of flora growing out of the holes. The spring is lovely because the aging blue tarp is now disintegrating to shreds and blows blue ribbons all over our still winter-bare garden. The funny thing about this whole scene is that in the 16 1/2 years that I have lived here I have seen the occupant of this house as many times as I have fingers...seriously, it's kind of creepy...but, maybe kind of nice too...quiet neighbors are good ;) We had to have our property surveyed a couple of years ago and the survey said that a "Mr. Smith" owned the house...all my husband and I could think of was THE "Mr. Smith", Matrix style...very mysterious all in all. In a way though, the scene is comforting, it is part of "home" to me...crazy I know...but when I was thinking about this post I was trying to think of how to put it and explain how , even though it's not perfect by any stretch, home doesn't have to be, probably cannot be...but it belongs to me. For so many years I have wanted to move and I wasn't able to financially, now we can move, we could go and find a house that has a better view from the bedroom window, that has an extra room for me to sew in, a house that would be more convenient, but suddenly, right when we CAN, I just don't want to. I love this house and this city and all of the friends and connections that I/we have made here over the years. I want to see the "shanty town" in winter, I want to see it when it finally caves in completely, I'm curious what will finally take it's place when "Mr. Smith" is moved to action. So, I wonder, now that my soul has spoken, now that my years of restlessness are over, will my house dreams stop?

Monday, September 21, 2009

30 days of happiness::doing my thing

Finishing up sweaters and getting ready to do some felted stuff...maybe the adorable acorns that Bluebirdbaby did?

I haven't posted in a bit...I didn't decide not to, I've just been steadily, quietly busy. Which is a new state of being for me. Usually when I have a ton of stuff to do my heart races and I feel this little bud of panic in my chest...but that little bud hasn't been there lately....I haven't done anything to remedy it...no yoga, deep breathing, eating better, avoiding caffeine...none of that...so, I don't know what precipitated the change...and I don't know if it will last...all I know is I am enjoying it...damn! it's nice to be happy :)

Note to Briana: I know, I know, I am tempting the gods ;)

So, I have been working on a steady stream of orders for dresses and coats, cleaning and organizing, GOING TO IKEA...that activity is in caps because it is a MAJOR one...I love Ikea, but boy is it an exhausting experience, especially if you are buying furniture...which we did!!! I FINALLY got a bed, a real bed, my dream upholstered bed...I am very happy about it and will show you the finished room makeover very soon...hooray!!! I have also been canning the huge quantity of green tomatoes from my parent's and in law's gardens...made piccililly...pretty good for my first try, I think ! And you know what else? I have just been stopping and looking at my family and soaking them in...that is what feels like the most important thing for me to do.

ah, the tomatoes....

Look at this closet! Mike put up these shelves and racks and now we have so much more storage in the kitchen...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

30 days of happiness:: monkey business

Perfect day today...cell phone shut off...older kids back to school..quiet, clean house during Lily's TWO (bless you child) naps and sewing just for the fun of it...throw some time outside in the sunshine and cool autumn air at the playground in the mix, a delicious, easy dinner shared with my handsome husband and I am a very happy and contented camper...it's good to have a day like today to remind me that slowing down is not only possible, but necessary...sweet dreams :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

30 days of happiness:: channeling my inner Ma Ingalls

I've decided to go pioneer woman this fall and make almost all of Lily's wardrobe...dresses, pants, sweaters, coats, hats and mittens...and I'm making good progress...an owl applique dress, gray and blue corduroy dresses and some super cute pants from a pattern by danslalune.etsy.com

clearly, I'm into owls...gosh, I really do love dressing this baby...and since I know from experience with my older two that starting at about two years old or so , kids get very picky about what they wear...I am going for it and indulging all of my "dress up the baby doll" whims now, while I still have the chance!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

30 days of happiness :: love

the love of my life....my second chance...my dream come true

Friday, September 4, 2009

30 days of happiness :: friends

Friends....As I've gotten older I can look back and see how I have been blessed with so many different people in all the changing phases of my life. You have school friends and work friends and "mommy" friends and the very precious "sister" friends, the ones who last through all the phases, the ones you can pour your heart out to and who know you inside and out. My "sister" friend Keri invited me out for a glass of wine and conversation last night and it was just what I needed after a long week of sewing and whiny kids (of all ages). Thank you Keri for a lovely evening, it was so good to just talk about kids and jobs and making changes and finding our happiness and of course, to laugh :)

So, you say, where's all this sewing you're talking about? Well, my friends, here it is, in all it's autumn, corduroy, owl, deer and dog glory on the table in the back yard. All of these dresses and skirts are headed to Crunchy Granola Baby, a store here in Salem, TODAY, so, get them while they're hot!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

30 days of happiness :: bed

Yesterday was just one of those days...I felt very anxious and although I was trying my best, I just couldn't quiet my mind . Everything I sewed was a challenge and I have to admit, I was not the most patient mom in the world. Hate those kind of days! After dinner I was feeling like I should a. talk to my husband, b. do some more work on a dress order due Friday but I chose c. GO TO BED. Like my friend V. expressed, far more eloquently than I ever could, in a post on her blog A Dose of Dosch, sometimes you just have to be alone. And my most favorite place to be alone, with a book or just to take some nice deep breaths, is my bed. This is probably because it is the only place in the house where I have even the most remote chance of staying hidden, ha! So, I did find my happiness yesterday, and today I feel a lot better for it :)