Saturday, February 28, 2009

I've been spending considerable time in the studio, but I don't really have much to show for it. A sort of family portrait in the works:
I have a full garbage can and a big mess, but not much else to show for my efforts. It seems to be that time of the year for a lot of people. I've been reading other blogs that voice the same frustration...we're sort of all in a holding pattern between winter and spring...not the most inspirational time of the year.

Much to my amazement and pleasure, Estella has a new love of the upstairs. She actually asks quite often to go play upstairs, and I'm only too happy to fulfill her wishes. I think it's mostly because she gets to play with my clips in the studio.
She will happily spend an hour arranging and rearranging these clips. They end up lined up, stacked in bowls and boxes, or sunbathing on my sewing machine. Forget expensive toys, buy your kids some colorful binder clips...aaahhhh, a girl after my own heart ( not that she doesn't already have full ownership!) There's really nothing quite like a drawer full of binder clips...right? I mean, right? Am I totally nuts?

A special treat today...homemade cookies!
Now that's the face of a girl who has never experienced milk and cookies...deprived I know. I made an Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookie from The Garden of Vegan. They turned out very well considering I didn't have all of the ingredients and substituted all of the sugars...vegan may be vegan, but it's not whole foods if that makes any sense. I'm not sure that I'm in love with grain sweetened chocolate chips any longer. They behave very strangely when baked, but since I hate carob, my options are limited. Estella had no idea that they aren't normal chocolate chips, and they taste fine, they just get very...I don't know...dusty, I guess.

We did a little thrift/vintage shopping today, and found a few things. I was finally able to fulfill my very strange desire for a cow creamer.
I don't know why I wanted one, but I've actually wanted one for a while, and I just found this one today so I grabbed it. It's somewhere between cheesy/kitche and funky/cool...or maybe I've just gone entirely off the deep end.

An intense love for a cow creamer and binder clips...good thing we live down the street from the'll be very easy for Estella and Walter to come visit me.

Obsessions with white glass run in the Grandma had literally every inch of her house covered in milk glass (0r other glass). Though I do not intend to take it to that level, maybe some of her collecting rubbed off on me. I have a few pieces of glass from her, and many empty shelves for more...but I'm going to try to be picky with the rest, now that I have this very coveted cow creamer :)

My new book..okay one of my new books (but who's counting) and some sketching (in the hopes that inspiration will strike).
The book is actually really great. I've read great things about it on some blogs, and I'm so glad that I got it. So many craft and sewing books are very basic, but this one has some great projects that I'm really looking forward to trying. It has more clothing than projects, but I'm kind of liking that about it. I may actually make something for myself...the kimono dress is calling to me!

Hope everyone enjoys the rest of the weekend. If I don't post in the next couple of days, I will definitely try to post right after Estella's birthday so you all can see her new stove!!

Monday, February 23, 2009


My dainty tea drinker:
Whenever I give her a glass or mug and tell her to be careful, the little finger comes up!

We are buried in snow...some shoulder high drifts outside the back door:
And some drifts on the porch:
We've been plowed out a couple of times since the snow started yesterday, but the wind is blowing so much that there're huge drifts everywhere. The snow is up past our windows in the dining room!

I don't particularly love being snowed in, but it's to be expected...if you know Vermont, you know that just when it looks like winter's almost over, you get dumped on again and have to start all over!

Today in the mail...a bright spot!
Proof that not all winters are so white...some beautiful blooms all the way from California! Thanks Chase! (That's the secretary in the back...this picture shows the color much better than the last post.)

Two years ago today was my due date for's crazy to think back on how huge and uncomfortable I was. Of course it goes without saying that she waited many more days to make her appearance...more on that later!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

third time's a charm

The secretary is done! The color doesn't really show in the's a lot brighter and deeper in person.
This color is the third one I can sort of see the three colors below.
I was very indecisive about choosing a was too much like a piece of celery... another was too much like Listerine...then just right...I think. So far so good with the current color. I even put some things in the drawers and took the painters tape off the glass...I think this one's a keeper!

I had a chance to do some work today since Walter's home and the snow is keeping us in. I'm moving along on my newest project :
And even further along:

That's probably all of the work I'll get done for today...but maybe I'll do more tomorrow if we get all of the snow that's predicted.

I'm very nearly done Estella's birthday gift. This nap time should be the last one I have to use for painting and drilling and assembling. The work went along much quicker than I'd expected, and it's turning out so cute...I'll post pics when it's done!

I'm very excited that we're starting to plan for a trip to California in May...I know it's kind of early, but with our lives, we need to plan ahead! It's been four years since we've been, and it'll be so nice to get back out there and visit some of our favorite people and places...this time with a two year old! Looking ahead to something will definitely help ease the stress and frustrations of the next couple of months...

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Today the snow was perfect for rolling...sticky and heavy, so we took advantage of the warm weather and made a "so-man". Estella wasn't really all that interested in going outside, but once the snowman was made, we couldn't convince her to go in.
A little help from daddy:
Estella turns two in less than two weeks...crazy! But even more crazy is the amount of work I still have to do on her play stove. We got a little bit of work done today during nap time and will have to continue to use nap time to finish it up for the next week or so. It's going to be really nice when it's done, and she's going to love it!

Some burner stencils cut out and ready for paint:
I also put a coat of paint on a secretary that I got last week. I've been very inspired by this blog lately. They take a lot of risks with color and I really like the end results, and I also wanted to do something bright and funky for the paint, just to make the piece fit more into our style. The color was so nice and fresh on the little 2x2 chip, but once it's on a huge piece of furniture...yuck!
Walter assures me that when there are more coats on it and the streaks are gone that I'll like it. It's basically the same color as our couch, so I figured I'd like it, but it may take some getting used to. Right now it looks like a giant piece of celery. Of course I felt skeptical about the couch in the beginning too, and now I love it. In the end, it's just paint, and I can always pick a different color if I end up really hating it...but I also really hate painting so hopefully I'll end up liking it...

Hope you all got to make some snowmen today and enjoy the warmer weather!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I'm back from my getaway...and much more relaxed. The day at the spa was so relaxing and fun, we did a little shopping, and ate out at every meal...just a really great break.

We also visited Simon Pearce. I remember watching the glass blowers there as a child, and luckily you can still watch them, but the place is so different. It's huge and expensive and not quite so much fun...I guess that's success.

I came home to a spoiled child with some new toys, books, and a balloon...and a new chair for the living room. All I have to do now is figure out how to reupholster it.
I got my last issue of Domino in the mail yesterday, and today it was destroyed...
I'm bummed that they're no longer publishing. I would never be able to actually afford anything in the magazine, but they always have great links and ideas. Oh well, it's just a magazine...nothing to get all weepy about...and besides, I still have ReadyMade!

Since I'm now working from home on Tuesdays, I found myself with extra time this morning, and I was able to cut all of the squares for the quilt-in-progress.
I used an Olfa rotary cutter (a recent purchase) and I will never cut squares with scissors again!
I was so enamoured with my new toy that I used it to cut pieces for my next project...
I know it doesn't look very exciting now, but give me a couple of months and maybe I'll finish this one and then you can all be impressed...with the finished product...not the fact that I actually finished it...

On a totally different subject, I need baking lessons! I think there's an art to baking that I just don't understand. I've destroyed so many baked goods that I'm beginning to wonder why I bother. Today I made (nasty-chewy-undercooked-on-the-top) sesame crackers. I think baking is one of those things that you have to witness, so you understand what things are supposed to look and feel like. The directions in a cookbook mean nothing to me...maybe there's a Baking for Dummies...I should look into that...

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I guess I've kind of been a slacker-blogger this week. I've had some bad days and some good days, and blogging just wasn't a part of them. Anyways, moving on...

I made lasagna the other night, and while preparing it, Walter let Estella have a piece of basil to smell (neither of us said it was basil) and she sniffed it and announced "basil"! Pretty crazy that she hasn't smelled fresh basil since her basil picking days this summer and she remembered...we both looked at each other in shock for a minute...she continually shocks me every day with her constant learning.
My part of a swap is on its way to the Netherlands:
And I received my swap items this many fun and great items! Thanks Corry!
I'm not sure what'll become of my new fabric, but I think it'll be something that'll stay in the house...I want to horde it!

And as if I needed more things to do...another work in progress:
This one is made of linen, organic and regular cotton, and will have recycled clothing. I just started on her outfit today, but I don't have any pictures to share yet.

And finally, my little tea drinker:
Whether it's hot or not, all tea must be blown on! She's very into tea lately...and is working very hard to master the word "chamomile". Not really the easiest term to get but it's so cute to listen to her try!

Well, I'm going away overnight this weekend. Kristy and I are going to Quechee for some chill time away...which we both really need. It's my first ever (more than a couple of hours) time away from Estella. I'm sure I'll be a nervous wreck, but that's what cell phones are for...constant contact. I'll be able to let my anxiety rest for the day and relax a little though, right? Well, think relaxing thoughts for me...maybe I'll come back rejuvenated and ready to conquer all of my works in progress!

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I was wondering why Estella ran into the living room with the muffin tin...apparently she was making muffins! She came back into the kitchen looking very proud and said, "muffins, bake".
Another freezing cold day today, perfect for getting some work done and organized.

Another peek of my WIP...
Obviously another project involving a rainbow of fruit flavors:
And the fabric for the quilt I mentioned last post:
I tried to get material that wouldn't be too girlie and flowery...I think it'll be nice and bright and summery when I'm done. It's always hard to tell how it'll actually look until you've got all the squares cut and sewn. I wasn't sure about Estella's quilt either but once it was all together, I loved it...I'm sure when it's done I'll love this one too.

Not much else to report today...I'm off to do some dinner prep for a yummy Curried Split Pea Soup that's Kristy's recipe. Trust me, make nice with Kristy...she creates lots of yummy recipes.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Looking up

Finally a ray of hope...things with the CPSIA are looking up! Thanks to everyone who voted, petitioned and wrote letters...we have another year! I guess this means I have to actually start putting more products in the shop and making more of an effort...

Speaking of effort...two more toy bags in the works:

They're actually done now, you can see pics of them here. I'm hoping to get them in the shop soon, but I'm so lazy about updating, so who knows when they'll actually get there.

Another work in progress:

I don't want to post full pics of this one yet because it's part of a big elaborate plan that will probably take forever, so I want a big fancy "drum roll, please" kind of finale when I'm done. I'll try to give some sneak peaks along the way...

I've also got another project that will (hopefully) be started soon. Some old friends are getting married this summer and (I think) they're the type of people who will appreciate a handmade gift. I know I swore after Estella's throw that I would never make another one, but I'm doing least I get to take a trip to my favorite little fabric store to buy some fabric for it! I figured I'd get started early so I'll have lots of time to ignore it when I get sick of sewing straight lines.

I also have some birthday gifts for this little one that need some work.
My dad brought the play stove over yesterday and I have to do some painting and accessorizing. I have burners and knobs to paint and I'm thinking about colors for the stove itself...wait till you see this is so cute. Thanks Dad!

I can't believe my little girl is turning two in a month! She talks constantly and throws tantrums regularly, she torments the dog and laughs when she gets yelled at...yep, she's a two year old...time really does fly!