Monday, June 30, 2008

Snapshots of Summer

We've been spending a lot of time outside, and boy is it pretty up here on the farm! Even the pasture full of dead grass is pretty.

I am reminded of how special this time in my life is - a relaxing lazy summer not yet full of soccer practice and running kids all over town. Of course, that will be wonderful too, but the "summer of the two-year-old" only happens once per child, and we're enjoying it one hot afternoon at a time.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Primary Colors!

I just LOVE working with primary colors. They are so cheerful and perfect for making children's items. They remind me of coloring with crayons and playing with legos. This patchwork play mat is in the shop.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Curtains on a Budget

I've been putting off getting rid of our terrible vertical blinds every since we moved in here - almost 8 years. I hated those blinds, but every time I went curtain shopping I was so appalled at the price for ONE curtain, let alone two, that I just gave up. I made several half-hearted attempts at the fabric store, but upon discovering that purchasing the amount of fabric needed would cost just as much as buying pre-made curtains, I gave up on that too. But then my super creative mother-in-law suggested using sheets - such a great idea! I bought a King sized flat sheet at Target for $15, and it was super easy to turn it into a curtain. I added a bit of decorative stitching and appliqued on some flowers to jazz it up a bit, and I love how it turned out. I can't believe I lived so long with those ugly blinds!!!
Oh, and before I forget, AyuMills over at the Pink Penguin has tagged me, so I'll give you a quick few random facts about myself. (Although it would be much more interesting for you to just go on over to her blog, which is full of great project ideas and links to fun patterns and shops!)

1.) I once lived an entire week with a huge frog in my house because I was too afraid to catch it and put it outside. Pretty pathetic for a farm girl.

2.) I am obsessed with collecting change and putting it in those paper change-roller things.

3.) I have a Master's Degree in counseling psychology which I wonder if I will ever use...

4.) I once got hives from eating too many jelly beans.

... I can't think of anything else. :) Thanks for tagging me!

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Importance of Names

Giving things names has always been a specialty of mine. Most of our childhood pets were named by me or as a collaboration between myself and one of my brothers. There was (and still is) Watson, our first dog, as well as Fruitcake the cat (dubbed as such due to his inability to walk in a straight line), Quazimoto (the cat with one eye), and Henry Jones Jr. (the cat we named during an Indiana Jones phase my brother was going through).

Given that illustrious naming history, you will now believe that I spent HOURS choosing the perfect name for my etsy shop. Junie None Designs sounds kind of ... different. I know. But it is the perfect name for the shop I was inspired to start by my mom, whose childhood nickname was Junie None. If it wasn't for her, I would not have decided to become a stay-at-home mom and would not have been able to start my little on-line business.

The third in a family that eventually contained 6 children, my mom was named Jane. Just Jane. Her parents didn't even give her a middle name. When she started school they filled out the forms: First name: Jane. Middle name: None.

This didn't cause any problems for a while. After all, Jane is a simple name to say and simple to remember. In 5'th grade, however, she had a teacher who actually read the form and not only mistook her name for June, but actually believed her middle name was "None." So during roll-call on the first day of school he called out "Junie None," and the name stuck.

I didn't fully understand the sacrifices my mom made as a stay-at-home-mom until I became one myself. She had a Master's degree from Stanford and was an extremely accomplished musician (piano and guitar). She loved learning for the sake of learning and was an absolutely brilliant problem solver. She could have had any high-paying job she wanted, but she chose instead to stay at home raising us 4 kids and maintaining our home. She put her brilliant mind to the task of raising a healthy family, and the bookshelves in her room are still lined with books such as "Saving Childhood" and "Growing Up Writing." I now know that she must have had many days when she wondered what her life could have been like if she had chosen to work. I know that she was sometimes bored while she played with us and angry while she cleaned up after us. I know that she felt the pull of the world telling her that she would be more important, more successful if she got a "real job." But she kept right on driving us to soccer practice, making us eat our vegetables, and giving us art projects to do, knowing that raising children is one of the most important tasks a person can be entrusted with. I am so thankful to have had her as an example.

So that's the long answer. People always ask me what Junie None means, and now you know. I usually just tell them "it's named after my mom, and no, she wasn't a nun." :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sunny Day

I just listed this bib in the shop - it's one of my favorite fabric combinations. I've used these fabrics to make a patchwork play mat and mini security blanket, and had JUST enough left over for this bib. I'm tempted to keep it myself for baby #2... better snatch it up quick before I do!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Nope, I'm not cooking tonight.

Our Father's Day party was a huge success. There was beer, golf, a squirt gun fight, frog catching, a decorate-your-own-cupcake bar, and an end-of-the-evening wrestling match. What more could a dad ask for? 

I am now basking in the afterglow that is the post-party clean house and a fridge full of left-overs. I wonder how long we can make this last... :)

Friday, June 13, 2008

I Couldn't Help Myself

I know, I know. I should be washing my windows (ref. previous post...), but in light of Father's Day this Sunday, I just had to share a quick my-husband-is-a-great-dad story with you.

Every night last week as we were putting Moses to bed, he asked either Brett or myself to sing him the "butterfly song." We had no idea what he was asking for, and he was unable to sing it for us. He just had it in his head that there MUST be a song about a butterfly and since we are the parents we must know it. So each night one of us would mumble a few words about a butterfly to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" or something to that effect and kiss him goodnight.

Well, the other morning I sat down at the computer and noticed a freshly printed piece of paper. It was entitled "The Butterfly Song - for Moses." Here's a quick snippet:

so that little caterpillar ate and ate
until he wasn't so little any more
with a full full tummy
he made a mummy
called a cocoon
and he slept and slept for many moons
then one sunny day
he poked his head outside
and realized he was a butterfly
so he stretched his colorful wings
and shook off the last cocoon strings
and that butterfly flew
and before he knew it he was high in the sky

It actually took me a few seconds to realize what had happened: My testosterone filled, tractor driving, dirt-under-his-fingernails husband who thinks lotion should be washed off with soap after being applied had composed an official butterfly song for our son. It was quite possibly one of my favorite moments of being married to him.

So now every night we sing Moses the REAL butterfly song. I still have to read it off the piece of paper because it's pretty involved, but Moses has it memorized. The other day I caught him singing it to his teddy bear. And THAT'S why my husband will be getting a special breakfast, lots of presents and a hand-scribbled card on Sunday. We love you Brett!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

This List... the reason I won't be blogging much more this week. We're hosting all the Fathers at our house this Sunday, and my house is in SERIOUS need of an overhaul. (Yes, the last item on the list says "put knobs back on." My son removed all the knobs from the living room furniture and hid them throughout the rest of the house, so it was a definite chore.) So instead of taking pretty pictures and thinking of cute things to write here, I'll be cleaning out dusty corners and carting around a bottle of Windex. Happy pre-Father's Day!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Junie None Designs: Expanding!

... Well, not the business. The designer is expanding (that's me). I'm so excited to finally be able to share our news: I'm pregnant! It's been a LONG 14 weeks, since I get extremely sick (we're talking major throwing up if I even move) for the first 3 months of pregnancy. So that's the REAL reason this blog and my etsy shop have been so neglected. But I'm feeling much better and each day am able to reclaim a little bit of my life. I'm excited to get back to sewing, excited to be able to post some fun pregnancy-related posts here on the blog... heck, I'm even excited to clean my house! It's amazing what 3 months of being an invalid can do for one's perspective.

I do have to give a huge shout-out (did I actually just use that phrase?) to my husband, who has been an absolute SAINT while I was sick. Every morning he got up early with the little guy and let me sleep in as late as I wanted. He went to work late, took Moses to work with him many days, and came home early. He did the grocery shopping, made all the meals, did the dishes, and even vacuumed and dusted the entire house (all this while running his landscaping business). He never hesitated to make a late-night trip to the grocery store to find me the ONE THING I could eat and made me toast at all hours of the day. Best of all, he did it all without even one sigh of frustration or accusing look in my direction as I sat suffering on the couch. He was WONDERFUL - much better that I would have been in his position. What a stud. Thanks Brett!

Friday, June 6, 2008

No Scrap Left Behind

I love finding little projects that use up some of the many fabric scraps I have stashed away. This week I've been making these patchwork bibs, which are just the right size to use up a nice sized pile of fabric and batting scraps I've been holding onto for a long time. Attaching the bias trim was hard at first, but after tearing out a lot of stitches and throwing away a few bibs that were beyond repair, I figured it out. These will be in the shop soon (I finally have all my photo editing software on the new computer - thanks Daniel!) so keep your eyes peeled. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Make-Ahead Egg Strata

This recipe of my Mom's is a huge success whenever I make it, and since it is meant to be made the night before, it is perfect for taking to a brunch or for having guests over for breakfast. Instead of sweating over the stove first thing in the morning, you can pop this into the oven and take a shower. :)

4-6 slices of sourdough bread
1 small can of diced mild ortega chiles
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated jack cheese
6 eggs
1 box pre-cooked breakfast sausage, cut into small pieces
2 cups milk (I use nonfat)
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp garlic powder

1.) Butter the bread, remove the crusts, and place in the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish, butter side up. Spread chiles over the bread.

2.) Combine all remaining ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Pour egg mixture over bread. Cover and refrigerate overnight. 

3.) In the morning, cook uncovered in a 350 degree oven for 45-55 minutes.

Pretty easy and very yummy!

Monday, June 2, 2008

A Fantastic Combination

Cybil over at Doodlebug Finery has set up the most wonderful fabric and chocolate swap through Flickr, and I managed to sign up just in time! You get matched with a partner, and send each other (duh) fabric and chocolate, as well as a few other goodies and a hand-written note. People from all over the world are signed up, so it's a great way to meet fellow fabric addicts and spread some of your own fabric love. I'm super excited about this! I just got my partner's list of likes and dislikes, and I'm already dreaming up what to put in her special goody box. FUN!!!