Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Lights

It comes and goes so fast. Lots of stress: driving for 2 days straight in terrible weather (cannot count how many cars we saw in the ditch including a five car + semi accident/catstrophe complete with two ambulances), being so tired that my contacts blur up every hour, last minute shopping, wrapping, baking...

But the holidays brought out lots of good: seeing old friends and distant family, eating fabulous food, and most gratifying, watching the joy of a six year old when he receives something he has drooled over for months and watching him give gifts he worked so hard on making. It was a merry time!

Friday, December 21, 2007


Oh...I'm late, but who cares. I know it is technically the 22nd and I should either be in bed, packing for our trip, or wrapping Christmas presents, but I choose to draw out the birthday as long as I can. Connor is six today (or yesterday the 21st)! Wow-it is so hard to believe. So, 6 things about the 6 year old:

1) Connor LOVES football (and futbol in the summer)!

A football quilt from Nana Jeani & Papa Jayson (handmade by Nana).

A new jersey from Nana Yvonne & Papa Dave.

2) Connor's favorite foods are somewhat similar to other children in that he loves mac n' cheese, corn dogs, & chicken nuggets. However, unlike lots of others his age Connor enjoys many other types of foods, i.e. seaweed (he will eat it like a french fry), cabbage (huge coleslaw fan), and Chinese dumplings (of any sort & prepared in any fashion). I am so blessed that my son lives by the kindergarten motto of "be polite and take a bite" and that he almost always enjoys his bite.

3) Connor's best friend is Bennett.

(Bennett is not wearing "jailbird" pants. They decided to play dress up before the party, hence the pirate pants)

4) Connor's favorite colors are blue, red, black, and brown.

5) He is a doodler. As I mentioned before, I can NEVER find a clean piece of paper around here. So, he will either grow up to be an artist or an NFL football player. Although, for over a year now he has told me he wants to be a mailman. They are all quite different career paths so I suppose he is just a renaissance man.

6) Quite honestly, I think Connor is unique for his age. This may sound biased, but as a person I think he has an extrodinarily kind heart and a deep soul in that he is loving, understanding, and just plain nice. For example, it is just common law around here (by his choice) that Mommy gets at least 5 hugs before bedtime. Some say he is shy, I say he is observant. He is an intense watcher (especially of older children - of course) and he remembers finite details from years ago, yes at age six. He has never done or said anything at school to make another person feel bad. For this I am extremely proud of him and feel lucky to have such a kind and loving child!

Well, I am starting to get sappy, but it is all true. This time of year always brings back memories of six years ago when I received the best Christmas gift ever.


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas to Mrs. Rose!

Well, one Christmas gift I can share before giving... Connor and I made this memo holder for Mrs. Rose, his kindergarten teacher. We thought it would be fun to make something for her and even more fun if we could both participate.

So, Connor drew the picture for the outside. We used the Crayola fabric crayons and Mommy ironed it on and sewed up the rest. We included a small notepad, pen, and matching paperclip. It is backed with Timtex (which my sewing machine has come to hate) so it is nice and sturdy.

Connor says he loves it, so I have one almost completed for him as a Christmas gift. He is a doodler (I can never find a blank piece of paper around the house) so I'm thinking he will love his as well.

Monday, December 17, 2007


OK, I know my birthday was two weeks ago (and I am not one to dote over my own birthday) but I am going to talk about my night out anyway. Justin and I have developed an annual tradition for my birthday - dinner at our favorite restaurant. I know this does not sound all that exciting but really it is. The food is spectacular as is the presentation, service... Just look at this, my own personalized birthday menu!

After good food, good wine, and a flaming dessert we head down to the little bar down the road. The first year we stumbled upon it because the temperature outside was below zero, it was about a block away, and we were not about to walk more than that. Again this year it was cold, but I think we went back for reasons other than that. I guess it may become part of our tradition.

Justin was feeling particularly generous that night. He was determined to find a homeless person to give our leftovers to. Yes, he approached people at the bus stop asking where he could find some homeless people to give his food to. I don't know if the people were offended by him or just plain shocked. Anyway, poor Justin may have had one too many cocktails with dinner, but really he does have a big heart. And, he did find someone at the end of the evening. The man was not homeless but was happy to take the food.

With that said I will talk no more about my birthday, until next year. It is time to concentrate on the next one coming this Friday. The birthday boy wants hot dogs, coleslaw, and baked beans. Sounds like a summer feast to me, but what he wants he will get. Oh, and chocolate cake of course.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

That Time of Year

It has been a little hectic around here lately, as is typical of December. This one has been even more so. In addition to Christmas we have two December birthdays. This year we also have an out of town wedding sandwiched inbetween Connor's birthday (the 21st) and Christmas. And now the other night we had to rush Connor to the emergency room due to some scary nasty hives. We have found out that he is allergic to milk. So now, amongst the busy holiday season we must also readjust our eating habits. Luckily Connor likes soy milk, although lately I have heard some not so good things about it. And although I do not like this allergy, then again who would, I am glad to know where these hives have been coming from the past two months. Another positive - they rate the allergy on a scale of 1 to 6, 1 being the least allergic and 6 being the most. He is a 1! And so he does not have to completely eliminate dairy from his diet, just cut back.

So my holiday gift making has again been put on hold. Here is some of it waiting to be cut into:

And on another note, I had a wonderful birthday. Here is my favorite gift, a serving tray built and decorated by Connor.

**See the 21 on the advent calendar - the birthday boy's day is overfilling**

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


Today I turn 28 years young - those years really creep up on you. So...

*****28 Random Blurbs About Me on My Birthday*****

1) I am a cat person, really big cuddly ones to be exact.
2) Guilty pleasures- red wine, chocolate, and pizza, not usually all at the same time but on a really good day, yes.
3) Not so guilty pleasures - reading and seafood.
4) Something I wish was a pleasure - exercising.
5) Favorite movie -
Sophie's Choice - makes me cry every time (it's a fabulous book too).
6) Favorite book - too hard to choose, but have recently enjoyed this
one, this one, and this one.
7) Favorite children's book - also too hard to choose, but love
this, this, and this...
8) I love music - all genres. Not a big country fan but some of the folky stuff that I enjoy really borders on country.
9) I majored in piano performance for one year.
10) Favorite classical composer -
11) Favorite color - green - and
12) Green eyes
13) I'm an only child.
14) Which means I am a little spoiled!
15) My husband and I were born within a few miles of one another...
16) Our parents then up and moved to the same suburb.
17) We didn't really meet until college though. It was very romantic - nasty college basement party, the kind that reeks of spilt beer an b.o.
18) I have never been a morning person...
19) However lately I have come to favor the morning hours (after a cup of coffee).
20) I have had the same best friend for 10+ years.
21) We are very different but it works well.
22) My house is blue which would not be my first choice, but I have come to like it - it's home.
23) I have been getting my hair cut from the same person for 12 years.
24) I carpool to work...
25) With my father!
26) My life has not followed the conventional order, i.e. 1 get married 2 buy a house 3 have a baby. Well I did things in the exact reverse order.
27) I am happy with the way that turned out!
28) I was born somewhere around 2:00 in the afternoon on a Tuesday.

Last night my mother-in-law said that 28 was one of her favorite years. So I welcome 28 with open arms! - Bring it on!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Welcoming December

December 1st brought the 1st snowstorm of the season. Connor went out with Grandma and Grandpa for a bit, Justin went to work, but I stayed bundled up inside all day (except that hour I spent hanging outdoor lights)! There's something about the first snowfall that makes me immobile. Felted beads seemed appropriate, made with wool from this shop.

I wasn't sure initially what they would become. The end result - ornaments:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Winter Trees

Another field trip for Connor and this time I got to come along. We visited a local tree farm where the little ones got to enjoy a hayride, cut down a tree (well, they watched), haul it in, and prepare it for someone's home. Fun, but really cold. I think it was the coldest day we have had yet this season - something like 15 degrees in the a.m. At least we all dressed warm and the sun was shining - the apple cider helped too!

So here is a fun fact straight from the tree farm:

Your average Christmas tree is eight years old!
Oh, and here a better photo of one of our turkey friends, through the blinds. If I had opened the door he would have been gone. Maybe one of these times I will get a good shot. I think I am becoming obsessed with doing so - it's a challenge. Bring it on turkeys!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Gobble Gobble

In honor of Thanksgiving, a study in turkeys by Connor:

In addition to the handmade turkeys, we have seen some real ones around our neighborhood in the last few months. In fact, as I was writing this entry I looked outside and saw a group of them behind our house. By the time I found my camera they were pretty far away, but I did manage a to grab a picture. The quality is horrible as I was rummaging through the woods in my slippers trying my best to zoom in, but those two fuzzy black blobs on the left are turkeys. (I think anyway)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Shop Update

I have added some new things to the shop, here are a few:

That messenger bag was great fun to make. Another one is coming soon, same style but a more muted color scheme.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Jewelry Maker?

Well, I tried my hand at some jewelry making and it is harder than it looks with all those tiny little beads and precise measurements. Yes, sewing obviously involves lots off measuring, but if you are a millimeter or two off on a seam no one will ever notice. If one earring is a millimeter or two longer than the other it is much more noticeable.

I used some vintage beads from here and some others I had lying around. My favorite pair: the lemon drops on top.

No more earrings for awhile. Last night I returned the pliers from my sewing room to its rightful home in the basement workshop.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Simply Stated

Just feeling lucky today, that's all.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween Snippets

-Some Halloween highlights-

-Carving pumpkins at home-

-Getting full of goop -

-Coloring gourds at school-

-Costumes: The Cowboy-

Chaps handmade by Nanny, vest handmade by Mommy, with a lot of guidance from Connor.

Badge holder handpicked by Connor from Nanny's recent bag of goodies.

-Connor's measurements for the vest (Mommy measured, Connor recorded)-

-Costumes: Mother Hen-

-Also from Nanny-



layers of bulky clothing (yes it was chilly) + running full speed to get to the next house + a month of built-up excitement + the thrill of seeing friends + dark + SUGAR

= at least three tumbles by each trick-or-treater

(none serious :) )

Can you match the pumpkin to the carver?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Busy Fun

This week has been a bit hectic. Saturday morning was Connor's last soccer game. He was quite proud of his four goals and medal. Later that evening I had a lovely dinner out with my husband followed by a cocktail with my oldest friend, whom I tend to loose contact with for months at a time (yeah I know - bad friend - but she is to blame too jet setting all over the country with her new beau!).

And last night we attended a concert, the Gabe Dixon Band. The band formed at the University of Miami while I was studying there and I always enjoyed hearing them. So naturally when I heard they were coming to Minneapolis I was ecstatic. They played at the Varsity Theater which is right in the neighborhood I lived in when I attended the University of Minnesota. It all brought back good memories - both Midwest and East Coast. Anyway, very talented, fun, high energy band. Too bad they only played the opening. Next time I'm hoping for a full show.

Yes, these days most of the live music I am graced with comes from "The One Mand Band." And just like the band mentioned above this one is very talented, fun, and always full of energy.

Oh but I am not used to going out two times in the span of three days. Yes, I am not a young college student anymore, just an old mom! I am tired and desperately need to clean my house (but I had lots of fun!!).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Finding the Perfect Pumpkin

Sunday afternoon was spent searching for the perfect pumpkin:

And we found it, well three of them (one for each of us). Picture quality is not the greatest here as it started drizzling right when we got in the car to go. We got these at a local farm, Fred's Farm to be exact. Funny, Justin worked there as a boy picking strawberries. Connor thought that was pretty neat - "I got my pumpkin at the pumpkin patch where Daddy used to work." He says it as though that makes his pumpkin extra special. I think he is right.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Some Goodies

Grandma did it again! She surprised me this last weekend with a bag full of goodies, actually three bags. She went digging through her house and found lots of treasures for me. A very lucky granddaughter I am to be the recipient of some wonderful vintage fabric, buttons, lace, beads... Here, just a few of my favorites:

The original price tag is still attached to that lace - 8 cents! Funny as I was typing this I started searching for the cents symbol on my keyboard, not there. Since just about everything now costs over $1 I guess we just don't need that symbol anymore. But I need it, for the first time in all my years of typing, to talk about that lace! The cents symbol is still on that old typewriter I have at work though.

Enough on that tangent. Thank you Grandma, your gift was so much fun for me to look through. As you can see someone else had fun looking too! We both have already started to envision what may come out of these three bags.