Friday, January 29, 2010

Feeling January/February

I've finally completely de-Christmas-ized the house. The snowman cookie jar is in storage. After a short period of all-Princess decor that will take over the house over the weekend (someone is turning five), we're ready for some pre-Valentine's cheer.

We got an early start with these wax paper hearts, as suggested by Hilary, as inspired by the Great Oracle. Ruby really had fun with these -- she didn't even mind the amount of "grown-up work" (i.e. ironing) that was involved. They look both pretty and kid-friendly.

Oh, and I finally got around to changing out my kitchen display space. From Christmas to winter blues. These things never photograph that well, but you get it. Brrr!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Year of the Tiger

Ahhh. Sorry for the extended pause -- we missed a full night of sleep last week en route back from California (we basically arrived home a full 10 hours after we were scheduled to -- again, don't ask) and the whole family are still feeling the effects. But we're slowly getting back on track. Mind you, with a certain little girl expecting a birthday next week, things are chaotic here anyway. I thought January was supposed to be easier than December?

Anyway, I was invited to a baby shower this past weekend (which I bailed on, due to the aforementioned chaos/sleep deprivation) and I didn't want to pick up a last minute layette set that the baby/parents didn't need anyway. I love to make my baby shower gifts, but with this little guy being born on Christmas Day, I couldn't get to anything too substantial (poor little dude, this will probably turn out to be the story of his gift-receiving life). Then I remembered all these little Aranzi finger puppets I'd made ages ago. I bought a little shadow box, stuck this guy in with a couple of those double-sided sticky foam squares that scrapbookers use and boom -- instant handmade present.

I had this idea floating in my head for some time, but was double inspired by an article in the new Martha Stewart Living that focuses on creative family memories in shadow boxes. Now I want to shadow box everything -- if it weren't for the fact that shadow boxes are really freakin' expensive. Does anyone have a line on cheap shadow boxes? I am certainly not a carpenter, so I'm not about to make them myself.

On a totally unrelated note, I urge anyone who visits Disneyland to pick up a bag of their saltwater taffy. I was standing in line at the coffeeshop on Main Street their to inquire if they sold Rolaids (they do -- they're hidden and you have to ask for them, but that's the place to go if you're having that kind of problem in the Magic Kingdom) and suddenly remembered getting saltwater taffy at Disneyland when I was a kid, so I grabbed a bag. I wish I had bought more. I finally cracked it open today and can not stop eating it. Usually the flavours in saltwater taffy are fairly muted (i.e. every colour tastes exactly the same), but this stuff is a flavour explosion. In a cruel and unusual move, I have not alerted my children to the existence of this lone bag of taffy. I'm a horrible mother.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Reasons why I just had one of the best vacations ever (Palm Springs/Disneyland/Los Angeles)

*I got to see my little girl meet seven Disney princesses. The anti-commercial feminist in me says boo, but the look on her face warmed my heart like you wouldn't believe.

*Food. Good Mexican, chicken & waffles, pizza with salad on the top, fois gras...

*Learning that my kids are real troopers. They both usually nap, but we would hit Disneyland from opening to closing and Henry would get about a half hour in the stroller and Ruby would just walk and hop on rides. She even took the "scary" rides in stride -- though wisely bailed on Space Mountain when she got to the front of the line. And because it's still a sore spot, I won't mention that we didn't get home until 4 a.m. this morning, but those kids really put up with a hellish day of travel.

*Pee-Wee Herman! We took a grown-ups night in L.A. and went to Pee-Wee's new stage show. It was divine.

*Piano Bar. Hung out at a unchanged-since-the-'60s piano bar in the desert. Got drunk on champagne cocktails. Made friends with the whole place. Got a ride home with the waitress. True story.

*It's A Small World. We rode it three times, at Miss Roo's request. I love Mary Blair's design. This is my happy place.

*Good friends. Checked in with some buddies who moved down to L.A. a few years ago. We haven't seen their daughter since she was a baby (and vice-versa). She and Ruby spent a morning pretending they were sisters.

*Magic. There's magic in California, I swear.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

Away for the week. Be back soon. Wish you were here.

(may post if anything comes up. If I don't, don't alert the authorities, I'm doing just fine)

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

A Very Good Year

I know that 2009 was a pretty wonky year for a lot of people. but with our two children growing, it was a fun one for our little family. I created little mosaics of my various crafts and thrift scores on Flickr, but stupidly forgot to save them to disc. Also, I have been pretty slack about posting things on flickr -- two of my biggest craft projects (the Christmas stockings and the mermaid costume) aren't on there at all. Ooops.

Anyway, it's clear to me that I did a lot more thrifting than crafting last year. This is not a surprise to me. I can't promise this year will be any different, though I am feeling the pull of the knitting needles this winter. After so much time at the sewing machine, I'm jonesing for some yarn. But I'm also obsessed with reading Sookie Stackhouse novels on my Kindle, so we'll see how that goes (I haven't perfected the art of reading and knitting at the same time).

And for those of you interested in my nerdiness, you may or may not know that I'm a big movie nerd and try to watch as many films as possible. For the past couple of years, I've been keeping track of the movies I've seen over at listography. Take a glance if you're interested. And, if you're bored, tell me about some of your favourite movies that you saw in 2009.

Monday, January 04, 2010

I'm The Luckiest By Far

Oh lucky day! In addition to the amazing Christmas presents I accumulated over the holidays (more on that another day), I managed to come out on top on not one, but two giveaways from the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day! This is so awesome -- not only did I learn about a whole bunch of blogs and get to give away something of my own, I ended up with some really special stuff.

From the beautiful Home, Heart, Happiness, I won the mystery prize. Now, since this was coming all the way from New Zealand (during the holidays, no less), I was afraid that I would burst waiting for the mystery to be revealed, but it actually came fairly quickly. It was impossible to photograph, but above is the best I could do to represent this beautiful full apron. I just love it. The fabric is beautiful and, of course, I am an apron nut. In the same package:

A vintage doily and some gorgeous buttons. So great.

I also won a prize from Cheryl at Naptime Quilter, who happens to live in the same city as me by sheer coincidence. Cheryl is an amazing quilter and she offered up a bag of her selvages, which she very thoughtfully ironed and rolled up for me. I'm really excited by these little scraps -- I have an idea of what to do with them, which should be interesting, especially taking my sewing and quilting inexperience into account. But it's a new year. New adventures await.