Friday, April 29, 2011


After Nonie was born I remember thinking 'Did I make a mistake?  Have I ruined Lillian's life by bringing another child into our family and taking so much of my attention away from her?'  Even now I feel like I spend a lot of time breaking up arguments between my girls.  Sometimes they are oil and water; impossible to mix.  But then sometimes, just sometimes they aren't.  Sometimes their laughter peals through the house making it impossible not to join in.  We all find ourselves giggling like little girls, grinning from ear to ear.

Tonight I could not get them to go to sleep.   One would say something and the other would just roll with giggles which in turn would make the other laugh harder.  All this laughter makes it impossible to be stern or enforce bedtime.  For how can one be stern when one is giggling uncontrollably?

In the last three years I've learned there is no one else in the world who will love Lil the way her sister does.  And in turn there is no one in the world who can love Nonie the way Lil does.  They are for better or worse stuck with each other; best friends or worst enemies.  Guess having another one wasn't such a bad choice after all.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Organization?! Bah!

Organization is not one of my strong suits.  It wasn't something I remember learning much growing up.  And really if I have the option between cleaning/organizing something and going outside to play:  outdoors will always win, hands down.  But that is all going to note book at a time.   It's actually something I've been working on for a while now; trying to package the pieces of our home into neat little areas.  I want our things to be useable and accessible.  I'm pretty slow at it though.  I kind of feel like I'm teaching myself a new art.  I know it comes quite easily for many of you out there.  Well lucky you.  I'm a work in progress.  It has something to do with moving every two or three years and reorganizing as such and also with the fact that I've um...well... never been organized.  So today I started organizing my recipe book.  I have a recipe box too which is remarkably organized but it never gets used, so there you go.  But this book with hand written recipes (the good ones) is a mess.  I'm using a three hole punch on the ones that  will fit into a three ring binder.  Then I'm going to write the ones on little papers and napkins actually into the book.  Hooray a useable recipe book.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Zippers suck! or at least they used to

I'll admit it: zippers have always eluded me.  I know, I know they really aren't that hard, yada, yada, yada.  But  lets just say I've never been fond of them.  So I took a skirt (with an invisible zipper) sewing class.  We made the a line skirt from 'Sew What! Skirts' by Franchesca DenHartog.  I now own my very own invisible zipper machine foot and everything.  Look for more zippered clothes in the future.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sewing with friends

My friend Stephanie and I got together last week with a crazy idea: sew while our kids played.  Yep it went about like you'd expect.  But we did get a few things done and sewing with friends is so much fun.  She had picked up the School House Tunic pattern a while back.  It was one I never would have chosen out on my own but I love it! The fabric is Opal Owl by Tina givens.  It was a Christmas gift from my Mamma.  Hey mom I finally found the right pattern for it.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Knee high by the fourth of July

Our garden is currently on a table in the living room.  I miss the extra space the table is taking up but I am enjoying watching the rapid growth of green.  I am amazed at how quickly the seeds have sprouted and grown.  At this rate knee high by the fourth of July for corn is going to be knee high by mothers day. Which is when we'll plant the starts outside.   I gather gardening in CO is going to be a bit different then growing in NY or WA or MI.  The girls helped me plant all the seeds and have delighted in watching them grow.  There was a broccoli seed incident though.  I had a package that was years old.  I don't even know where it came from.  I think maybe it was a promotional thing in the mail.  I gave the packet to Nonie who planted the entire thing.  I didn't think much would come up because the packet was so old but I was wrong.  I think we now have somewhere in the neighborhood of thirty broccoli plants.  Anyone need some broccoli?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Many kinds of eggs

 Here is our little egg tree at the center of our dining table.  We created lots of different kinds of Eastery eggs in our house this past week.  We dyed hard boiled eggs with fruits and veggies.  We dyed hallow out eggs with tissue paper.  Inspired by Katherine Milhous's 'The Egg Tree' we attempted Ukrainian eggs.  Let me tell you: not as easy as you might think.  Or perhaps I was just being naive when I thought hey 'I can do this.  No problem!'  Well I'm sure I can do it but the learning curve is just a bit more than an afternoon.  I think at this rate I'll be really proficient in about 15 years.  But it was fun and I look forward to trying again next year.
 We hallowed these eggs out with an egg blower and then painted them with vinegar water and wrapped them in Japanese tissue paper. (Incidentally this paper is great for dying silk scarves with.  We'll be doing that project in a couple weeks.  I'll be sure to post pics.)   We then painted them again with vinegar water to make the paper stick.  When the paper dried we pealed it off and I put strings in them.  I wrapped floss around a bit of toothpick and tucked the toothpick through the tiny top hole (where we blew the egg out).  Then when you gently pull the string back the toothpick shifts to the long way and holds the thread tight inside.
 My attempt at a Ukrainian egg.  Quite difficult to achieve straight lines.  It did end up with more colors.  But I don't have a photo of the final egg.
 Lillian working on her Ukrainian egg.  We used a tool called a Kistka which has a little reservoir for melted beeswax and a tiny hole where it comes out onto the egg to block the dye from touching the egg. You heat it over a candle flame pretty regularly to get the wax to stay melted.  We used a book called 'A Kid's Guide to Decorating Ukrainian Easter Eggs' by Natalie Perchyshyn.  I found it to be a great little book for beginners.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Street Sweeper

The girls and I went for a walk today.  The street sweeper happened to be out during our walk.  I think we spent most of our time watching it, following it back and forth, up and down the street.  When we got home Lillian got right to work building her own street sweeper.

Consolation prize: blocks

We got to watch an unusual show today.  Our neighbors had two trees cut down.  I guess I've never watched a tree cut top down before.  I really appreciated the skill those guys need to do it properly and safely.  And thanks to my new friend Ed and his crew we now have these amazing round aspen blocks for stacking.  I asked if they could cut some of the tree trunk pieces into 2 to 6 inch chunks for us and their chainsaws were happy to oblige.  The trees were actually in our neighbors yard and offered us a good deal of shade.  Now it's got me thinking about all the energy costs for cooling our house this summer... you know, if we actually used air conditioning.  I was planing to plant living screens in front of our south facing windows with TALL plants  anyhow.  Now it seems more pertinent.  Alas the yard seems barren without those trees.  They will be missed, but they just weren't safe anymore.  I've never lived anywhere so windy.  The wind rips though here and you'd think the roof was going to blow off.  Hasn't yet!  But the root systems for those trees were too shallow and we were worried they'd come down.  Guess we'll have to plant something new to take it's place.  Oh the possibilities...