Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Papa, where are you going with that axe?

Did you think I ran away from home?
No, but I almost axed this blog.
We went on a beach vacation (so fun) with a luau party at the end.
We've been taking daily swimming lessons.
We had a big Fancy Nancy birthday bash for Sister's 4th birthday.
We've been doing lots of art.
We've just been enjoying summer.

And I REALLY didn't miss writing here.
But... I'm not going to give it up yet, I don't think. Though I might be making some changes.
In any case, I won't be back here until about the third week of August when the kids start preschool. So, cheerio! And I hope you are having a TERRIFIC summer!

PS- Do you know which book opens with the sentence that is my "title" today?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Fancy Nancy, I love you.

My friends, are you familiar with Fancy Nancy? If not, you must aquaint yourself at once. Especially if you have a little girl.
Fancy Nancy is all the rage at our house, and is the theme of Sister's upcoming 4th birthday party. I have ordered a dozen tutus, feather boas, tiaras, and pixie wings. (From this source- good prices!) We will be dressing up, painting little nails, putting on make-up (or, rather, making a big deal out of putting on VERY LITTLE make-up) and doing a necklace-making craft. Then we will have "tea" of sandwiches with little frilly toothpicks, mini muffins, fruit cut into fancy shapes, and a very fancy cake. Doesn't it sound divine?
(If I survive, I'll post photos.)
Anway, the above photo is what I've been working on for the past two evenings- homemade invitations. I had a ball! I almost didn't post the photo because it doesn't BEGIN to capture the glimmery, glittered FANCINESS of this creation. (Have you noticed this theme lately? My rental house is just DARK- and even the yard is dark and shadowed- I took that photo outside!) I color-copied the Nancy from one of Sister's books onto cardstock, attached her with 3-D glue dots onto another sheet of cardstock printed with the party info., and then drew the butterflies and flowers. I painted them with a lovely watercolor paint that has a subtle shimmer, and then I got rid of all pretext of subtlety and heaped glitter on Nancy's wings and the Prima flowers. SO fun!
Sister is quite enchanted, and so excited about her party. But first we have our luau next Friday night while we're out at the beach! We're party people these days.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Zuccanoes- yummy,healthy, and filling!

Pardon this photo. My zuccanoes look like they've been sitting under a heat lamp for 30 minutes. Actually, they were fresh out of the oven and quite visually appealing- but when you live in a poorly lit house your nighttime photography options are limited.

After hearing so much about the New Moosewood Cookbook, I decided to check it out from the library and see if it is for me. I will admit that not all the recipes appeal to me, but this one looked good. And it was! And so healthy too! I was getting ready to type the recipe here, when I realized it's already on Mollie Katzen's website. So, click here to get it! Aren't I just the efficient one?

(As if!)

If anyone else has any recipes from this cookbook that they recommend, please do let me know.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Have you ever heard of the Story People by Brian Andreas? If not, go check it out. Somewhere in California a group of diverse people gather together and create prints, wall hangings, and unique furniture pieces that have a really vibrant, artistic flair. I've pasted a photo or two here to show you examples (from their website.) Each one includes a "story" written by Brian Andreas- it's actually more like short prose that suggests a longer story. I love the idea of their enterprise- it's my idea of heaven to be in a studio with a group of interesting and talented people creating ART. So cool.
One night a few years ago I was up late, in a whimsical mood, and I got on a kick reading his "stories" online. (There is a place on the website where you can read them.) Some of my favorites are:
Angel of Dreams (PS- The Susan who commented there is not me, FYI.)
Oh, goodness. (There are so many more I love, but that's enough links for now.)
On that night, a few years ago, I was so inspired by these stories that I wrote some of my own. Here's are a few:
Why does art exist he asked and the angel said because there are not enough words to hold all the possibilities of the human heart.
Have you ever noticed, remarked one star to another, that humans are so busy creating their own light that they no longer notice the light God has provided them?
Little Girls
Why do little girls like pink he asked and the little girl answered because pink is what you get when you mix red hot fire with cool white snow and that is exactly what girls are anyway.
Perfect Medicine
Of course if we could bottle the essence of a baby’s laugh and give it as a tonic we wouldn’t need doctors or hospitals or nurses anymore, now would we?
I wrote these two when I was experiencing infertility and WISHING my heart out for children:
Will I ever have a daughter? I asked the angel and she laughed and said surely someone who loves starlight and deep forests and sunset skies as much as you do will have a daughter, because daughters are born of these things.
Will I ever have a son? I asked the angel and he laughed and said surely someone who loves clear mountains and thunderclouds and the roar of the sea as much as you do will have a son, because sons are born of these things.
I had fun writing those, and fun tonight revisiting them. Check out the Story People website if you're in the mood for some inspiration.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Reading any good books? I am!

Well, I went MIA without planning on it. But in between my last post and tonight, we took a four-day trip to visit my Grandma, had swimming lessons (Sister, to be precise), and hosted playgroup (which involves a LOT of cleaning... before and after!) So, it's been busy. And we've also just been enjoying summer. I've been logging on a good bit less these past weeks, and that's a good thing sometimes.

One of the perks is that when I do go to read my favorite blogs, there is a lot of new stuff! Fun!

Rather than share lots of little anecdotes from life (not in the mood tonight), I'll give you a few book reviews.

Here are some good books we recently checked out from our library: (The cover images are from Amazon.com)

The Circus is Coming by Hilary Knight
This one is a classic, but the new edition is printed in rich color on glossy paper and it's fabulous. Depicting fantastic scenes from a circus parade, Sister can pore over these illustrations for hours.

Peter Spier's Circus!
Another classic! If you've never seen this book, it's a must. I love Peter Spier's super-detailed illustrations (so much to see!) This book really shows circus from start to finish, from setting up the tent and seeing that the circus performers are real people with families to seeing the spectacle of the performance.

Toy Boat by Randall de Seve

This is a sweet story of a little boy and his homemade toy boat. They are best friends, but one day the boat gets tired of being restrained by the string and decides to go out sailing on its own. Of course, the sea is a big, scary place and in the end, the boat just wants to be back with his boy. Happy ending!

Ladybug Girl by Davis Doman and Jacky Davis

This is a cute one. It's starts with a little girl standing in a pile of discarded costumes, enjoying her "ladybug girl" reflection in the mirror. (Reminds me of Sister from page one!)

What I like most about this book is that the message is about learning to entertain oneself. Lulu (aka Ladybug Girl) has "nothing to do"- said while standing in a room FULL of toys. (Sound familiar?) Her parents stand firm, however, and require her to fill her own time. In the end, she does so in traditional childhood style- walking through the yard, imagining heroic scenarios, rescuing ants from a rock, etc. It's definitely worth a library check-out.

The Littlest Mayryoshka by Corinne Demas Bliss
What a wonderful story! A Russian doll-maker makes six matryoshka dolls but the littlest is knocked to the ground before they are sold. Her "sisters" are sold to a little girl but can't stop worrying about their littlest sister. Meanwhile, the littlest doll has quite a traveling adventure (reminded me of the steadfast tin soldier.) Fortunately, there is a very happy ending. A sweet story of sisterly love and reunion.
I'm still playing along with Jade's Expose Yourself challenge. But I'm waiting on some "after" pictures. (Plenty of "before" shots, don't you know!!)
I'll try not to be gone another week before I post again. But, hey, it's summer, so if I don't do my homework, who cares?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sister's "Big Girl" Room Makeover

Well, she's almost 4 years old. I guess it's time to transition from the crib to a bed.
No kidding! Sister still sleeps in her crib- quite happily too. But she's getting so big, and has noticed that all her friends have "big girl" beds, and has started talking about it, so... off we go.
The good news is that we already have a bed for her. It's my cousin's iron daybed (with a trundle) from 20 years ago. My DH always hated it- it looked old and dingy and had these tacky gold finials on top of the posts. But I talked him into just giving it a fresh coat of paint (finials included) and seeing what he thought then.
Here it is undergoing it's new paint job: (I know, I know... spray paint is terrible for the environment, but it's the best option for painting a bed like this. DH's vacation time is limited!)
The bed used to be cream (with a lovely overcoat of grime and dirt), but we decided to change the color to a light pink. It turned out perfectly!
Bedding was next. My mom offered to pay for any costs associated with the new bed (bless her!) so I logged onto the Pottery Barn Kids website. Of course, I loved so many of the bedding collections, but I chose this one:
Isn't it sweet? It's called "French Rose." I loaded up my cart: a comforter, duvet cover, sheet set, and three pillow shams. Then I went to check out. After taxes and shipping the total came to $348.00!!!

I just couldn't do it. I know my Mom is paying, but I just couldn't let myself spend that kind of money on BEDDING for my kid. (*For those of you who have spent that kind of money on your kid's bed, please don't feel judged. I spend PLENTY of money on other things, believe me.)

So, I loaded the kids into the van and made a Target run. I found a lovely Shabby Chic quilt with matching sheets- yay! I was worried at first when all I could see from the end of the aisle was commercialized Disney stuff. (DH would NOT approve.) I ended up buying the quilt, two sets of sheets, curtains, and a lamp- for $100 less than the bedding alone from Pottery Barn.

And the more I look at the Target set, the more I love it.
I'll be sure to post a photo when the bed is put together.
Edited to Add: I popped in over at Jade's blog and saw that doing lots of cleaning out, decluttering, and re-decorating, just like me! So, I'll be playing along with her Exposing Myself theme for a while. Do join us.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Does anyone else have this problem?

I will be washing dishes, or wiping a bottom, or sorting through laundry, when I think of something JUST FABULOUS to write on this blog. Sometimes I laugh out loud at how funny my post will be- sometimes I'll think of words so poignant I'll find a little tear in my eye.
A topic will jump out at me, or even a cool idea for a series of entries. And I'll think, "Yes! That is just the thing for the blog! Don't forget!"

I always forget. ALWAYS!
I sit down here and every witty word, every expository narritive, every uplifting message just drains away...

Yesterday I swore to myself that I am going to keep a little notebook on my person AT ALL TIMES to help me overcome this difficulty. But I have to remember to buy one first.
It's not looking hopeful.