Sunday, May 24, 2009

Caterpillar Spring

Lots of family in town this weekend, we spent a beautiful day at the park. The kids loved playing in the water, Clark especially. We walked back and forth along the shore many, many times.

Our awesome cousins took Dora and Theo on a big paddleboat ride, which they said was the "best time of their life!" The afternoon ended with some caterpillar collecting - meet our new pets, Tickles and Crawley. The kids found them fascinating - Dora let hers crawl all over her arms and shirt.

Dora and Tickles

Showing him off to Dad and Clark

Theo and Crawley

The caterpillars came home with us and it was decided that they should live in the little tree in our yard. Dora noticed that once Tickles was in the tree, he didn't want to go back on her finger again.

We finished the day with a trip to the baseball game - lots of shouting and cheering and a run across the field. Today was a trip to the race track and a picnic with friends. Beautiful weather, great company and ice cream ... and the weekend's not over yet!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Clark Path

This week's speaker at Mothers & More was a gardening expert. She spoke at a meeting last year, which I would have skipped if I wasn't co-leader at the time, because I am not a gardener at all. It turned out to be such an interesting evening. The speaker was so passionate about gardening, she inspired me to get excited, too. I ended up putting out potted annuals around the porch last year, and it was so rewarding to watch them grow and bloom and they looked beautiful. I'm looking forward to planting again this year.

During this week's talk, she encouraged using "what nature gives you". There's a little part of the garden that Clark always walks through. I took the kids' rock collection (formerly strewn all over the porch) and made a little path for him.

And who is cuter than this guy? Peanut butter face and all.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Smart Idea of the Day

I don't have brilliant ideas too often, so when they do come along, I like to share. Dora's doll things were overflowing in their drawer, making it hard for her to get what she needed and to put things away. I took all the dresses and with the zillions of baby hangers I still have floating around, hung them up on a low rack in her closet. Then I took all the remaining items and separated them into plastic bags, which I labeled with my beloved label maker (socks, hair, first aid, accessories, etc ...) I always save small plastic zippered bags from things like sheets and pillow shams. They are great for storing toys. Anyhow, the clothes now look neat and everything else is easy to find. Ta-da!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

New Work This Week

First Communion cards for my niece and nephew:

And a little cupcake love for my brother & sister-in-law:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

National Etiquette Week

Who knew there was such a thing? I should have been cracking down on pleases and thank yous this week. My biggest pet peeve at the table is chewing with mouths open ... ugh! That's what I am most quick to correct. Do we use cloth napkins? You betcha! Last year, I unearthed three sets that we got as wedding gifts that we never used. What were we saving them for? Luckily, there are enough to keep us in napkins as long as I do regular laundry. In the fall, I made sets for the kids to keep in their lunchboxes. They also make fantastic placemats. Switching to cloth napkins was the easiest eco-friendly change in our house last year. We went through a TON of paper napkins at mealtime. I think I've only bought one package of paper since we've made the switch (they do still come in handy for big parties and playgroups!) I also started keeping a stash of washcloths in the kitchen so I'm not always reaching for paper towels to wipe baby faces.

My napkins are on Momtrends today! Follow the link below to see the story. There are more cloth napkins for sale (for kids and moms) on my etsy site ... look in the right hand column for the link.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Crafty Birthday, Part 2

We celebrated my niece's first birthday this weekend. I wanted to sew something for her and decided on these cute twirly skirts. I found the onsies first at Old Navy so I knew what colors to look for in fabric. The green one is so summery, and reminds me of the loud bermuda shorts we used to wear in high school. I bought enough of this fabric so her big sister & cousin will have matching skirts, too. I used wide elastic, so it (hopefully) won't roll, and lined the skirts to give them a little extra weight.

And what's a birthday celebration without sweets? 

Monday, May 11, 2009

Crafty Birthday

We went to a friend's house for a birthday dinner last week. Eight parents, eleven kids - it was quite the full house. We've lived in this area for four years and have been incredibly fortunate to make some wonderful friends. Since I cannot go to a birthday celebration empty handed, I made this little bookmark to put into a card. The idea came from a Valentine's bookmark post, but I cannot remember which blog, otherwise I would certainly post a link. A very fun way to use paper samples and fabric scraps. It was tucked into a little happy cake card.

Crafty Mother's Day

I love this project from kirstencan. This was for my mom yesterday. We turned my brother's old bedroom into a sitting room last year and my parents have started a big assemblage of grandkid photos in black frames, I thought this would fit right in. The stairwell wall at my grandparents' house used to be covered in silhouettes of all their grandkids, done in traditional black oval frames. I had my daughter's done when she was a baby and it was not inexpensive. This project, however, took about 15 minutes to complete, cost less than $20, including the frame (all the supplies came from AC Moore) and looks fabulous. I can't stop looking at it, which means I will have to make one for myself. 

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What It's All About

When I was in fifth grade, I wanted to be Harriet the Spy. So, I took my spy notebook to school and started furiously scribbling candid opinions (NOT observations ... perhaps where I went wrong) about my classmates. Until Mr. Browning saw me writing during class and confiscated my notebook. Which ended up on his desk. Open. For anyone to take a look at. Which one girl did, and then reported  back to me what SHE thought about all of my observations. (I still remember exactly who it was.) Thus ending my short run as a spy.

So this blog is like my open notebook on Mr. Browning's desk ... I want to choose my words carefully. I'm an avid reader of blogs, mostly parenting, crafts and baking. Some use their space to simply showcase the things they create and family happenings. Some share very honest feelings and emotions, the best ones with lots of humor and grace. I'm trying to figure out what will work the best for me. 

What's Been Keeping Me So Busy

Mothers & More of Broome / Tioga hosted a Summer Camp fair last night. We invited local day camps and activities to come to our meeting space and set up information for parents. We had 22 exhibitors and about 40 families attend the event. A local news channel stopped in to film a segment ... I stumbled over my words, I hope they do some creative editing to make me sound smarter and charming. I was thrilled with the program. I did a saddle-stitched 8.5 x 11 booklet, 24 b&w pages with a 4-color cover, printed by Callahan Digital Printing. The event was a lot of work, and many thanks to my co-chairs Lisa and Amy for their excellent planning and people skills.