Tuesday, June 30, 2009

So Sorry

Blogging got away from me. David has been burning the midnight oil on a project so I think I just got caught up in keeping everyone busy.

We are helping with VBS this week and so far loving it. It is really a different feeling to be on the "I show up and work for a few hours and leave" side. I LIKE it. No worrying about how many kids are enrolled, if the parents are happy, if all the workers are doing their jobs...I just live in my little cocoon of my 4 kids.

Gotta run to VBS...

Friday, June 26, 2009

New Bag

I have been sewing some different tote bags recently. And I must admit, that I have sewn off and on for years, atleast 30?? and only recently have I learned the benefits of good interfacing.

I've been experimenting with different tote bags, bought some patterns on Etsy, but only when I saw an Etsy bag I really liked, have I found success. I have been using heavy interfacing for my tote bags this week and have found that I love it.

The interfacing makes the fabric stand up well and smooths the fabric surface. I have also experimented with a tab and rings on the end of the straps.
This is the easiest pattern yet, but the interfacing makes it look so much different!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is meine Mutti's birthday. Happy 72!

Sorry I have been MIA, I have a bunch of pictures to download to the blog and catch up with you a bit, last night my router was acting jiggy and really making me crazy. It seems like I've fixed it now.

Rhonda-I don't have your e-mail. I would be very happy and excited to make bags for you and the girls. Let me know the style and it would take around 1/2 yard of at least two fabrics.

Facts about today...

-Finally watched Twilight for the first time tonight.
-Been sewing off and on. Pictures of the latest and greatest tomorrow.
-I gave H access to my old Canon TX with a couple of rolls of BW film. She is learning how to adjust shutter and apperature, etc...load and wind film as well as shoot some composition. Two rolls at the developer, we will see!
-H and I are reading Fahrenheit 451 together.
-Went back to the DAI today (Dayton Art Institute) to take some BW's and so the kids could do another scav hunt.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


Yesterday was the first day without my parents. I spent the day on and off the phone talking with different members of my family about my Dad, helping my Mom connect her new computer to the Internet (which didn't work and I told her to go get one of the teens next door).
Right before my Mom left here I took her out to Best Buy and we bought an HP mini laptop for her to be able to check her e-mail.

I cleaned and rearranged furniture, tried to mow (mower broke) and ended up weeding and edging, nothing much...kind of have the doldrums. I need a project.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Mom and Dad left this morning at o-dark-thirty, but we were able to celebrate Father's Day yesterday for both my Dad and David. My Mom cooked a fab dinner last night, of steaks, veg, garlic bread, and fruit salad. Real man food.

Dad has been anxious to go home, and Mom's back has been worse, so it was time to go home and see their doctor tomorrow morning. Dad is showing more and more signs of dementia or some other neuro effect of PD, to the point at which I e-mailed his doctor to ask questions and alert them. Hopefully the doctor and his PA will be able to give my Mom, sister and I some advice as to how to proceed.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Dayton Art Institute

Today we FINALLY got out of the house and took everyone to the Dayton Art Institute.

It was there that I decided what my new dream job is. When you walk in the door the information desk ladies introduced us to their free kids program. They have a program that after a brief registration they provide each child/teen with a packet that is color coded. Today we did the "green" pack. The kids packets include close up images of a portion of an artwork that the kids have to "find." Once the kids find the work of art (there are museum maps on the back of the packets and the artwork is very easy to find) there are questions on the back of each artwork's card that the kids must answer. For example one of the early Renaissance paintings had a hidden picture of a king in the landscape. The card went on to talk about symbols and hidden pictures in paintings.

My kids (8 and 11) were absolutely enthralled with the scavenger hunt.

The museum general admission is free (only the special exhibits have an entrance fee) and it would take 4 visits to complete each of the scavenger hunt packets. You receive a punch on your kids club card each time you com Once you complete all four each child receives a REALLY nice art kit in a snazzy plastic carrying case. The art kit included a wonderful set of pastels, watercolors, etc. Very nice, NOT cheap.

In addition to the 4 scavenger hunts the museum also had a great childrens section in the lower level. It was hands on with puppet show supplies and lots of interactive things in the center, but around the perimeter of the room there was a collection of (real)artwork that went from A to Z. Each letter had an activity or blurb to read and explain things to kids. Here is H with the H is for Horizon section.

Hannah was instructed to draw a 5 second horizon line.

I was for imagination. Next to this painting by Miro was a card reading I is for imagination. Artists use their imagination to create works, use your imagination to describe what you see in this picture.

So my dream job? Designing all these interesting children's activites and brochures. I have always wanted to write a book about weird and interesting facts about different paintings and sculptures, the stuff I learned in art school. Maybe I will write a coffee table book about facts like...in the painting American Gothic, Grant Wood's models were his dentist and his sister.

I LOVE this kind of stuff.

We hear the DAI now too. Only 19 miles from our house...and the kids begged to go back next week so they could do another scavenger hunt.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Felt Food For Owie

I finished the felt food for Owie sometime last week, but I have been dragging my feet regarding posting this because the package is in route to my sister. She should get it tomorrow, so hopefully she won't read my blog before then.

For Owen's birthday this year I decided that my felt gift would be a picnic. Sandwiches for Owen and his Mimi (my sister) and a bag of chips to share, apple slices (which I forgot to mail), and a carrot from my sister's garden to take to the horses across the street (Owen's favorite thing to do since he is a cowboy and all.)

Every time I am on the phone with my sister Owen is telling her he is hungry or wants to cook. I thought this would be something fun to keep at Mimi's so Owie could work on something in the kitchen too.

First the bread. I saw lots of ideas posted about bread and decided

to do it this way because it was easy. I bought a piece of 1/2" foam from the fabric store and sandwiched it between two free form cut pieces of tan felt (whole wheat bread). I sewed the edges and painted the crust on with some darker brown acrylic paint mixed with a fabric paint medium.

The sandwich ingredients...tomatoes, meats, cheeses, lettuce and pickles. The tomatoes I cut free hand orange shapes and red wedges and zigzag stitched around the darker wedges. After the wedges were done I sewed the two pieces of orange felt together. (All the pieces in the sandwich were basically two pieces of felt.)

Lettuce. I sewed two pieces of green felt together in the shape of a leaf of lettuce, then scrunched them a bit in the middle to make it a little more realistic.

Turkey. Or maybe the mayo. Just spiral sticked the two pieces together.

Cheese. I made two kinds, but this piece of swiss is more interesting than the cheddar. All I did was free stitch circles and a crazy outline and cut the holes when I was done.

Bologna. I used shrunken wool felt to give it the weird bumpy texture.

The carrot was all by the seat of my pants. I cut some 1.5" strips and tapered one end. I sewed them all together making a point at one end....

I turned the carrot inside out and sewed up the last seem not even bothering to tuck the final seam inside itself, but first I stuck a strip of fringed green felt in the top (see next picture).

Chips. I can't decide if I should have just made stitched lines in two pieces of felt THEN cut the chip shapes out or cut the shapes out like the picture, then made the stitching lines. I whipped these out, then cut all the threads later. They were a little more labor intense cutting first. It was a ton of snipping.

I Broke My Streak (NOT for the easily grossed out)

Yesterday I found myself in the Doctor's office. AGAIN. 6th time in two weeks for our family. I had an UTI. I got antibotics. I took one about 2 p.m.

Long about 8:30 the GI Issues began. For twelve + straight hours. Long about 1:00 a.m. the vomiting began. All because of these dumb pills. Let me just say that I weighed myself that morning, and sometime during the night out of curiosity I weighed myself again and there was a -6 pound difference. It was THAT bad.

BTW, thanks a lot Rhonda for introducing the barfing subject in your blog yesterday. Can I just say while I was naseuous and barfing I kept thinking to myself poor Rhonda. Lord, please help Rhonda get thru this.

Vomit. My brother and I have a running tally on vomit incidents. We always argue that we haven't vomited in years and have almost a competition. Honestly, I can count the times I have vomited on 4 fingers, technically 3. #1. Road trip to Ocean Shores over Labor Day weekend when I was 11 or so. I felt queasy before we even left on our trip and I remember my Dad stopping at the 7-11 and buying me anti-puke med's. Right when we reached the gate of Ocean Shores I tossed my cookies all over my white painter pants. It was NOT pretty. #2. Concussion. Some idiot threw a fishing lure off a pier that I was standing on when I was about 16 or 17. It hit me square in the forehead. Instant giant purple bump and gushing blood. I went home and hurled and went to bed. Not very smart. #3. Post-op. After my thyroid surgery I was given anti-puke med's (yes, I learned my lesson) and I spit up into a plastic bucket while in my hospital bed. *Technically this one shouldn't count.* #4. Stupid Antibiotics. Cost me my crown.

This morning when David came in to see how I was feeling (he slept with the kids) I told him I barfed. The first words out of his mouth? "Did you call your brother yet?" So I called Matt. When he picked up and said hello I said, "I ended my streak." He broke out in laughter and knew immediately what I meant. The conversation digressed to past incidents and gross things...

I humbly bow to King Matthew.

Craft things to come soon. I promise.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Not feeling good. More when I feel better...

Monday, June 15, 2009

First Day of Summer Break

Another picture from yesterday's walk...pardon the un-showered bed-haired motley crew.

Today being the first real day of summer break we decided to start the break off with a bang. Hannah woke up with a raging infection in her ring finger. Not to be too graphic, but there was much puss, throbbing, and swelling. So this landed us in the doctor's office by 9:30 a.m.

We followed the doctor's visit (soaking the finger/antibiotics for 7 days) and trip to the pharmacy with a trip to the library. Hannah finally got her library card, and we checked out her 7th grade honors and English and Reading list books so she could get a head start on next year. (I know, I am a super freak parent.)

We came home and mowed the lawn (I mowed, Hannah edged and Sam weeded), vacuumed (Hannah upstairs, Sam downstairs, I did the stairs), did tons of laundry, folded and exercised the dogs.

All in all it was a good productive day, which I know will all change as soon as my Summer defenses are down.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Excellent Day

We had an EXCELLENT day.
Since we went to Saturday night service last night we had the whole day ahead of us. We decided to take the 2 dogs on an exhausting walk through a local state park right outside of Yellow Springs. We hiked for a few miles and spelunked through rock formations and along the base of a cliff. The dogs were in and out of streams and the river. It was a wonderful few hours in a beautiful park. I (anti-nature girl) even had fun and had minimal bug bites and didn't fall.

Then we went into Yellow Springs for a late lunch. Since the
street fair was yesterday, there were a few vendors left over
lining the streets and we happened upon this vendor in the
parking lot of a gas station. We had to partake.
Once we had our caveman feast we went and sat in the Kings Yard and ate while the dogs panted for ribs.

Unbelievably D gave in and gave them some scraps.

On the way home Bubba and the dogs crashed in the back seat.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Street Fair

I had every intention of bringing my camera to the street fair. But no. I forgot. Lynne and I had a wonderful time, I had looked forward to it all week! Lynne was super nice and really easy to talk to...and showed me all the sights of Yellow Springs.

The fair itself was typical street fair...if you have ever been tot he University District in Seattle's street fair you'd feel right at home. Lots of people to stare at...wonderful ethnic food smells...rows on rows of white pop up tent stalls with everything from homemade rolls and cakes to local NPR literature. There were tons of handmade goods including this BEAUTIFUL purse I bought from an artisan from Bali. The bags are handwoven in Bali, then they smoke them for 6 days to create the wonderful carmel color. The purse smells a bit like smoke if you put it right up to your nose, but that will diminish with time.
I love the draw string cinched top and the
handles are a perfect length.

Lynne and I have a ton in common...both graduated with a BA in Fine Art, both survived a husbands long work and school hours, both have Dad's with Parkinsons, both sew and garden...etc. She has also invited me along on our neighborhood's book club field trip in a week or so to get to meet all the other women in the 'hood. They are going to see "My Sister's Keeper." Woot. More people!

Friday, June 12, 2009

I Dream of Onions...

...grilled pearl onions. A new friend of ours brought the onion/veg dish to a communal dinner a few weeks ago.
She brought these babies, cubed peppers of different colors and some cherry tomatoes. All she did was peel the onions (more later), add the cubed veggies
, pour a tablespoon or three of olive oil over the veg to coat, and give it a shake of some season salt, grill them either on skewers or in a grill tray and...viola. I could eat JUST the onions, they are THAT good. David and I fight over the onions, they are that good.

Onions. They come in a little mesh bag in the grocery store. Our Kroger has them hanging above the packages of salad and things. You take them home, boil some water and throw the onions in a for three minutes. Put the onions in cold water and peel them from the root. This is the easier of the two ways. The first time I made these I peeled each one by hand, had tears ROLLING down my cheeks, and it took forevah. The picture of the onions is actually post boiling, pre-peeling.

Serve the grilled veg with a little grilled fish or chicken, maybe some Israeli Couscous (trader joes-you've GOT to try it with a little chicken broth rather than water) and you have my favorite new meal. The paper top to the package of onions suggests putting them in a vodka cream sauce (YUM) or in beef stews (maybe).

BTW, I am NOT an onion eater. I do NOT eat onions on salads when served, I pick out raw onions, the only onions I eat are cooked onions in sauces or grilled onions on burgers or steaks, so this recipe suggestion is not coming from some onion freak.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I Know, I Know...

I said I would blog each day and some days I write 2 blogs, and others (like yesterday) I don't even write one. Let me get you up to speed...

Yesterday we sold our house! Woot! I was a little busy with the "serious" talks and offers/counter offers, faxing, printing aspects, but the bottom line is we sold our house and each have signed on the bottom line of the contract! The house won't close until mid-July, but we are almost through! A one home owner again! Woot!

Today, I finished Sam's teacher gift...a tote. I put file folders and empty binders on the inside, water bottles and snack in the outside pockets on the left, and pencil cases and other supplies in the outside pockets on the right. I wrote a little orange tag and note and tied it with a yellow grossgrain ribbon and left it in the teachers room for her.

I worked on Owie's felt today for the majority of the day, and also sewed/altered a curtain for my sister-in-law and ran it up to her so I wouldn't forget/loose it in the pit of a sewing room.

And JH...here is a horrible picture of the wrap skirt. It is SUPER easy and I can take pictures of the tie mechanics if you need them, that was the only remotely tricky part. I wore mine on Sunday with a cami and funky green sweater to church.

Here is another picture of something fun...my grandmother always picked up driftwood and took it home and polished it. Some of her drfitwood was massive, some really small, some looked like birds or other objects, and some weird just plain weird. When my Mom and Dad arrived the other day she had this little piece in her suitcase. I love it! It matches my beach bathroom so well!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Street Fair Cash

Made $100 cash tonight. I plan on using it for my date this weekend.

David bet me 100 bucks I couldn't find the piano books he has been searching for days for...I found it within 5 minutes.


I Found A "Snazzie" New Blog

Yesterday I called my sister whilst at the fabric store and asked her what I was getting/making Owie (her grandson) for his (2nd) birthday this year. Laura reminded me that I had found some really cute felt food recently on a blog, and since I HEART sewing felt for my little man O, I should be sewing some food.

I googled felt food and found this really cute new blog Snazzle Craft. It's kinds of one of those blogs that has a bunch of "re-use your kid's clothes and make them into something else to wear, strange mohawk hats of fleece, funky purses to make" blog. I thought you'd all enjoy since I have no pictures to show (yet) of the felt food (in progess). And darn-it I am going to spoil the surprise for my sister this time and just take the pictures and post before she sees the food in person, before I forget to take the freaking pictures of the cute costume stuff, like last Christmas.

Today I volunteered at Bubba's school, and came home and sewed like a crazy woman because for some reason I forgot that I needed to make Sam's teacher something nice as an "end of year/you've been really great to make him feel so comfortable in the classroom" present. I decided on tote filled with school supplies.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I Have A Date!

Yesterday, as I was starting one of my multiple walks thru the neighborhood with the dogs...our neighbor accross the street came over and asked me if I wanted to go to the Yellow Springs Street Fair with her this next Saturday! My neighbor, Lynn, has been really great to us and is a fount of information regarding local things to do. (Kind of the JVH of the neighborhood).

Yellow Springs is the original hippie Berkley-like town that is super hip and fun. Antioch University was the home of Yellow Springs.

But Lynn invited me to go with her next weekend to the street fair. And I am SO excited. I L*O*V*E that kind of food gluttony, funky street craft fair thing. And it is much more fun going with a fellow junkie.

Lynn is probably in her 50's and a fun, Keen wearing, hip person I would love to get to know.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Past, Present and Future

Past reading...Funny in Farsi. Very very good. I LOVED this hilarious book about a young girl and her family moving to California from Iran in the 70's. Each chapter of the book is a funny story regarding family members. You must check it out from the library!!!

Present reading...A Homemade Life. My sister recommended this book to me and my Mom went out and bought it. While Mom is out of town I am
reading the book and really liking it. It is also stories from the author's life (and kitchen table) and includes recipes. Most recipes look really yummy, I am dying to try the pink cookies (a favorite of mine from the U district in Seattle) but I haven't tried any of the recipes yet, I am still reading for now. Molly Wizenberg, the author, is the author/creator of the Orangette blog.

Future reading? I recently picked up "the Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" from the library. I have only read a page or two, and wasn't completely taken. I will try again soon. It comes highly recommended. I hope it is as good as they say...

I HEART my new serger

Yesterday was very successful, even without the computer. I managed to finish my green polka-dotted wrap skirt (McCalls 5430)...pretty basic. I L*O*V*E the way it turned out, but when I took a picture of it hanging on the hanger, it looked flat and weird.

Then, I moved on to a summer dress. (New Look 6775) I have had the fabric for years, a cute turquoise and white florally-hawaiian print....
I made the dress in a sleeveless version. I am in a bit of a quandry over the belt sitch, since otherwise I may be looking like I am wearing a potato sack
. For now, I have a belt made from the same fabric. This is an old pattern, I have made two of the short sleeve shirts in past years.

I also made a sleeveless top from Simplicity 2593, a suggestion I got from Angry Chicken's blog.
The fabric was this tissue weight navy print...but frankly it was a pain to serge.

And on that note?! Can I just say that I HEART my new serger. What did I ever do without one? I promise I will take pictures of the new sewing "studio" soon, but for some reason my camera is not taking pictures well...I actually tried putting some of my newly finished sewing projects on and having H take pictures...but my hormones took over and it was a crazy mess with unmade beds in the background...me throwing a fit...but I digress.

Friday, June 5, 2009

My Computer

D installed some software on my computer this morning to read a gel (some geeky science thing) and now he's asked if he can take my computer to work with him! What am I going to do all day?

Actually, I was planning on sewing today, but I do like to have my computer with me so I can stream or listen to something while I work. I will have to go and get one of the kids boom-boxes (you know what I mean) or something.

I know. I am a wiener. I'll have to sew and focus and post on my successes later!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Fabric and Dogs

Yesterday while I was at Walmart, of all places, picking out a baby gate for my Mom's dog, who is driving me nuts, I found this really cute/pretty fabric. 100 % cotton, and only $3 a yard. I really like the birds. Skirt? Smock-y top?! Bag?

The weird thing about Walmart fabric is that there is never the same fabric the next time you go or from store to store.

As for the dogs. This is what goes on all day at our house. Chloe and my Mom's dog Rosie wrestle. ALL the time. Chloe actually looks pretty vicious in this picture, but she wouldn't hurt a fly. Chloe and Rosie bite each other's ears and paws and get each other all worked up and then they chase thru the house...wrestle...etc.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I Took It

I took the job moments ago. The teaching assistant job. It was offered to me on Monday while my brother was here, but I have been thinking and praying about it and decided that...A. it is absolutely PERFECT hours for me 8 - 2 ...B.the economy is horrible and yet I have been offered a job that would basically pay our mortgage every month...C.the economy is bad and there possibly could not be any other offers...and D. I wouldn't have to work weekends and would only work while my kids were in school even when on Christmas or Summer break.

Add to these "reasons" that working would keep me out of Target and Walmart each week and you have my acceptance.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Mom and Dad left today. So D and the kids and I are currently vegging in front of the tv after a junk-food dinner.

I swear more fuss was made over saying good-bye to the dog, than us. But this being said when I dropped Mom and Dad off at the terminal in Dayton I went to hug my Mom and she had this "Oh Crap," tearful look in her eye. I think she was realizing that she was off for two weeks with my Dad, who is now a handful, and her back was still hurting and so on and so on.

The whole time I was driving them to the airport I kept flashing back to the time my Grandmother and Uncle were on a trip to San Fran and my Grandmother hit her Dementia Peak and went MIA. Hopefully Dad won't flee and a good time will be had by all.

That, and I won't kill or loose their dog in the next 14 days.

Monday, June 1, 2009

My Fathers Keeper

I am using this space to vent. Sorry! I LOVE my Dad! But he is driving my nuts! Dad would do anything for us, and does not have a malicious bone in his body and I just have to keep telling myself that.

D built/rebuilt our deck the last few weekends. When Mom and Dad got here we asked Dad to make some benches for the deck, in a way to keep him busy, but also because we needed the benches rebuilt. We talked about it with Dad and said please don't stain the deck. We want it to match everything and we had an old can of stain, but please don't stain the deck. We have mature bushes lining the deck and we don't want to do anything to kill them or stunt their growth if it rains.

What does he do? Stain the freaking deck. At first I thought my husband was going to loose it. Then after we both calmed down we decided, fine stain it. Well my husband is a neatfreak and needs things done a certain way, especially his projects...and here is my Dad slopping stain all over everything. Stain on the house, stain on the bushes, puddles of stain in places and nothing in other places.

Today after my brother left my Dad was right back out there to put another coat on (without my permission or even telling me). All of the sudden he yells into me that I need to come out and brush the cracks. Well, I am in my only decent pair of black capris and my new favorite t-shirt. But Dad can't wait. I run outside in the 80 degree heat and start painting the cracks (which should have been done first) all the while my Dad is "rolling on" on the stain two millimeters behind me at all times. I kept asking him to stop and let me get ahead and finish the cracks so he could roll and we wouldn't step in it, but no.

Argh!!! I love the man with all my hear but he doesn't hear me!!!

Ultimate Breakfast

In my family a holiday, in particular Christmas, is always celebrated with these bad boys. I have never gone a Christmas without these. They are called German Sour Cream Twists and really buttery good. This is the ultimate taste...yummy doughy goodness and orange juice are my ultimate breakfast. Ask any one of my nieces and nephews, brother or sister and they will say that GST are Christmas breakfast. The dough is really easy and not sweet at all. The sweetness comes from the mess you make with the sugar when rolling. I only see my brother a few times a year, which is hopefully going to change now that we have moved and he clocked his drive yesterday at 4.5 hours house to house. Since I am one of his favorite sisters :) I was really nice and made my brother and niece(and Mom and Dad and my kids) these for breakfast this morning. My kids thought it was Christmas. So did my husband. Here is the recipe...found by my Mom in a newspaper over 40 or so years ago.

German Sour Cream Twists by Mom

3 ½ c. flour

1 tsp salt

1 c. butter

1 pkg. dry yeast

¼ c. warm water

¾ c. sour cream

1 egg

2 egg yolks beaten

1 tsp. vanilla

*1 c. sugar for rolling

Dissolve package of yeast in warm water. Mix everything together in a large bowl (except sugar). Cover with a damp cloth or wrap in saran wrap and place in refrigerator 2 – 24 hours. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using sugar, roll dough out folding over and adding more sugar, rolling dough again and adding more sugar, repeatedly forming a rectangle (about 8” x 16”) of dough, creating a puff pastry like multi layered dough. Cut rectangle into strips and take each strip folding ends to make a horseshoe. Lay each horseshoe on a cookie sheet and bake 10 – 15 minutes or until desired browness (Doughier is my favorite, while my husband wants dark brown. Both are good!) Enjoy!

If you are looking for the ultimate cookie try Melting Moments...I can always send the recipe.