Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Having kids has made me start to like Halloween... Something about grocery shopping with a real live Scooby Doo in the shopping cart kind of warms my heart. And seeing my very own Superman parade around the school with all his classmates, well, it's just too cute. I even bought two frozen pizzas for dinner, and I NEVER do things that wild and crazy.

Here are our Jack-O'-Lanterns... they looked like this two nights ago, and then the dogs ate them, as they eat everything else, whether it is filled with burning flames or not. Have a wonderful evening!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

You know you have boys when...

... not only does a toy gun make its way into the dish washer, but you don't even notice it's there until after you run the load.

Needlebook Tutorial a la Nana Company

Today Amy at Nana Company posted a tutorial to make the darling needle books of hers that I've been coveting. Hooray! I think I might be making one of these to put in my OWN Christmas stocking this year... If you haven't already, you must stop by her blog if for no other reason than to drool over her gorgeous photography and the cuteness she is constantly turning out!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The View from up here:

Last week I treated myself to a trip to the fancy fabric store in Los Gatos that I like to go to when internet shopping just isn't cutting it. Sometimes you just want to feel the fabrics, pile them up in various combinations, and drool shamelessly all over the place, and this is the place to do it. Titus was nice enough to come with me, having been bribed with a trip to the candy store located across the street. (The fact that he really had not choice in the matter played a part as well.) Well, look what happened. I walked out of there with a deceptively small bag jammed full of Anna Maria Horner fabrics. Her voiles really are the silkiest excuses for cotton I have ever met. I have been dreaming up (another) quilt for myself using some of her Innocent Crush fabrics, and this trip pushed me over the edge.

I'm exerting huge amounts of self-control every day to not cut into these beauties. First I must complete my preparations for this weekend's craft show, then I have a little buddy who needs a T-Rex for his birthday. There are also a few fabrics in this pile for some special gals' Christmas gifts... are you tired of reading about my sewing stress yet??? There really is more than quilt-dreaming going on around here, but for now you'll just have to take my word for it.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I'm not sure how I've lived around chickens since High School and never known about molting. It seems chickens do it every year - they shed their old feathers, making room for shiny new ones. Why they would do it at the beginning of fall is beyond me - seems you would want to keep all that extra insulation around as the weather cools off. Anyhow, it turns out that my chickens are not being attacked by squirrels at night, the reason my paranoid mind had come up with for why my chickens were looking so bedraggled and had stopped laying eggs. This is just a normal part of being a chicken - I can sympathize. It's hard being a lady.

In addition to not laying eggs - which is the most inconvenient part for me - they all seem a little down in the dumps. Normally they come running out to meet me whenever I go outside, follow the boys and me around the yard clucking merrily, and are happy to be pet or even carried around. Since they started molting, though, they take off for the pasture as soon as I let them out in the morning and hide from us until they come back to roost at night. They are probably embarrassed; they do look pretty bad. There are always a couple who stay in the nesting boxes, sadly huddled together not laying any eggs. These two seemed pretty insulted by my picture taking. I'm hoping my gals get back to laying eggs soon - I guess some chickens stop laying when they molt and don't start up again until after winter. Yikes! But now that I know it is molting and not a hen strike I feel more compassionate about the whole thing and promise to stop threatening to eat them.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Weekend Musings

I've just been sewing away over here. In preparation for the two craft shows I've decided to participate in (insert husband rolling eyes and bracing himself for an overly-emotional and stressed-out wife), I've decided to stock up on bibs and holiday bunting, the two things that seem to sell the most consistently. I just listed a few baby boy bibs in the shop... I wish I still had someone wearing bibs so I could keep the camouflage one!

I'm also finalizing plans for Christmas gift sewing. A huge trip to the fabric store is in order, because I have some really great things in the works. Some of them are from this excellent book, which I borrowed from the library:

There are some really easy and beautiful projects in there - I definitely recommend taking a look at it. I also printed up the patterns I ordered from Gingermelon - these little guys will be for Titus. I'd like to think that I'll have at least one ready for his birthday next month, but they will probably all have to wait to be gifted until Christmas:

Aren't they cute?!?! I can hardly stand it. The directions come in pdf form, which is basically immediate crafting gratification - no waiting for them to arrive in the mail. And they look really straight-forward and detailed, which is good since this will only be my second foray into sewing anything three dimensional. I'm looking forward to making boyish versions of these little guys.

So that's what's swirling around in my head at the moment. Well, that and what to make for dinner and whether or not I should clean the bathroom before our friends stop by this evening, and whether I should go for a run or paint my toenails. :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

do. Good Stitches

I am so excited about do. Good Stitches! This is a wonderful quilting circle started by Rachel of Stitched in Color. A long time ago it was common to be part of a quilting circle, or bee, where a group of ladies would get together and all work on one quilt at the same time. This way a person could actually end up with a completed quilt in a faster amount of time. They would take turns working on each other's quilts, sharing sewing secrets and chatting about life, becoming dear friends.

Well, isn't it fantastic that because of the internet I can now be in a quilting circle with a group of ladies from all over the country and we can work together on quilts for children in need?!?!? I think it's amazing. Every month a different person is in charge of designing and completing the quilt. She sends us our assignment - this month it was the "love in a mist" block - and we were to use deep autumn colored fabrics from our stash. These are the two blocks I came up with.

My blocks are packed up and ready to go in the mail tomorrow. Our fearless leader will receive all the blocks, put them together into a finished quilt, and send it to Alternatives for Girls, a charity benefiting homeless and high-risk girls. It's such a blessing to be a part of this, so wonderful to be working with like-minded women who have a heart for kids in need, and a real treat to try out fun new quilting projects!