Monday, June 29, 2009

long haired freaky people

Today is day number one of four days of fore casted rain and she's already going nuts!
I'm not thrilled with the rain, but maybe it'll help my gardens. I haven't been having very much luck with my veggie gardens. Everything is alive, just not growing...and very pale. I have really nice soil, bought organic plants, and have tried watering and not watering per suggestions...still not doing very well. Oh, and we tried fish emulsion too...nada. Any thoughts?

I've been getting some work done everyday even if it's only half an hour...I think I'm on my final pieces now (there are four in the works) as long as I'm happy with the results.

It's kind of amazing that I get anything done with Estella trying to take over my work space! I guess I've kind of gotten used to working with one hand and taking dangerous scissors, pins, markers, etc. out of her hands with the other. I'm always amazed to read the blogs of other crafty moms who have more than one child and manage to get so much accomplished.
And as promised-a picture of my finished forest creature:
I only took this one picture since the light in the studio is so bad today. I'll try to get more when the weather changes...

I've been working more with (mostly) recycled wool, fur and felt. This guy is a wool blend felt that was really great to work with, but I'm looking forward to trying some 100%wool felt. A friend suggested some places to order some from and this place is local. I spoke to someone on the phone that said I could order by phone and pick it up at the warehouse so I won't have to wait (or pay) for shipping! Plus, I'm always up for trying some new materials...I'm already getting inspired by all of the great colors!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

dreary days

It's June in Vermont and I find myself wondering when summer plans on coming this way...the days have been dreary here...very windy too, and though we've been able to be outside most days, it's not sunny and warm like I wish it was...oh well, I live in Vermont and moody weather is to be expected. Vermont's lucky it's so pretty...that's all I have to say!

We went on a little outing this weekend to the Quechee Balloon Festival. It was the Festival's 30th year and I may (?) have been at the first one. I grew up quite literally across the street from the Festival and have fond memories of the event. I was disappointed to find that it wasn't nearly as great as I'd remembered. I have memories of tons of balloons laid out on the ground and watching the people blow them up, watching them take off...just lots of general fun.

The only balloon we saw was the above one that was old and dirty...but it was blown up with huge fans and Estella got to run around inside of it. We weren't there for any of the launch times so I suppose that's why we didn't see any balloons but really the whole event felt more like a craft fair with carnival food vendors. Considering that we don't really eat fried-meaty-carnival foods, we couldn't even enjoy that...luckily, The Skinny Pancake had a stand there so we got to eat some good, yummy food...and of course some french fries too!

Estella was able to go on a train ride and a bouncy, blown up slide and we saw some parachuting she was satisfied. I think I was mostly disappointed because I had such great memories of the Festival...I have to wonder, was it really ever that great or is it just my memory of it?

My monster:
This is not the smile of a well behaved little girl sitting nicely at the table enjoying her snack...oh no, no, no...this is the smile I get when I catch the little girl making soupy piles of pretzels soaked in water...but she is cute.

More progress on my current project:
I've actually finished this one since I've taken the photo. Once it's sewn shut, I'll share some more photos. This particular creature is not really my usual style, but it is the direction I've been heading in. It was a ton of hand sewing...definitely many hours of work, but I'm very pleased with the outcome. Sometimes I need to head in a different direction to take a break from what's becoming boring...being bored with your work doesn't exactly breed creativity. Maybe that's why I always have a million projects going at once...

Well, I'm off to narrow down my Amazon Wish List...I have a very long list going and since my counterfeiting skills leave something to be desired, I'll have to narrow it down...not that I can really afford to be buying books right now but I have a little bit of an addiction and it must be fed!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

stuff(ed) & things

Yeah, that's right...I'm famous! Okay, maybe not famous, but I am in print!

I didn't know that one of my creatures was chosen to be in the most recent issue of Stuffed. I sent in to be considered, but I didn't know until I received my free copy in the mail...a very nice surprise!
I don't think that this issue is out for sale yet, but when it is you should all check it out...a magazine devoted to Plush-geeks like myself. What could be better?

I've heard of birds in sand dollars, but I'd never seen it myself...broken sand dollar birds brought to you by Estella...
Really very least if you break something as pretty as a sand dollar, you get something else equally as interesting. I looked it up...apparently they're supposed to be doves.

I'm working a bit here and there. I took this morning to do some major cleaning and rearranging upstairs but maybe I'll get some sewing in later. If I'm totally honest, I was cleaning to cover up my procrastination, but who's counting? I'll work when the mood strikes me...
I'm happy to report a successful loaf of bread! My first three loaves were bread disguised as bricks, but I took my time on the fourth one and paid close attention to the dough and I actually managed a normal loaf of bread...there's hope for me as a baker yet! Thanks for all of the tips!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Things are looking up around here a bit. I found out last week that I have pretty severe anemia which could explain my general lack of energy. I'm being treated...taking iron and being aware of resting and relaxing, and I'm feeling a bit better. So, maybe my blogging energy will improve.

I received a very nice present last week...thanks Santa! I've been trying to learn to use it and bake all at the same time. I've had a very successful batch of cookies, one semi successful loaf of bread and one more is currently rising.

I've also acquired one very enthusiastic kitchen helper:
When I asked her what she thought she was doing, she replied, "planting seeds for a garden." Duh, Mama...

I would love any recipes for bread that you've all tried and liked. I'd also love to know how I'm supposed to let bread rise in a kitchen that is freezing cold...I've been trying the oven method. You turn on the oven for a minute and then let the dough rise in the warm oven...doesn't seem to be working. But if I'm totally honest, I think my yeast isn't any good anymore...oh well, lots to figure out and perfect, but I'm not giving up yet!

I've also started sprouting. I know a few people who sprout all of the time and I've finally managed to give it a go. So far, so good.
I've been working on my projects. I've hit a little slump, but I'm hoping I'll be able to get back in the swing of things since I'm kind of working with a time restraint.
I have ideas, I'm just having a hard time finding the motivation to get started...maybe I need to start drinking coffee!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Vacation Cont.

I really want to apologize for the lack of enthusiasm in my posts recently...and this one will be no exception. I've been feeling a little run down and I just don't have the energy to put into it. My lack of energy is by no means a reflection of our last week in California. We had a great time - very relaxing in fact. I just wanted to get up some pictures from that last week so that I could get back to more recent events in my next post!

Baking with Grandma Chase (don't worry, they were dog biscuits!)
The Discovery Museum:
Mission Pie...a great pie shop and this place out if you're in San Francisco!
A childhood dream come true...we went to the Mrs. Grossman's factory...when I was younger, I had every intention of owning a sticker store when I grew up, and just seeing all those rolls of stickers was enough to rekindle that old flame! :)
We did go on outings most days, but really we spent a lot of time at Chase and Brian's. They have a great house, and a nice closed in yard with lots of garden beds and chickens! It was nice to relax in the sun, pet the chickens and poke around the gardens...not to mention that a closed in yard takes a lot of stress off of keeping track of a two year old!
It was a really great visit, and we're hoping we'll be able to make the trip again soon...thanks for everything!
I will try to find some enthusiasm for my next blog...actually it's not so much enthusiasm I'm lacking-it's energy. Either way, I've been working on my projects, so I should hopefully have something new to share soon!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Coast

There really isn't much to say about the drive up the coast except that there was a lot of driving involved.
It was also very cold...cold enough that we didn't have enough clothing with us to stay warm...which made all outdoor activities miserable.
We did get to visit with Claude and Maggie (I guess they're Walter's step Grandparents) for a day and Estella got to see all kinds of animals and torment their sweet dog, Puppers.

We also spent a few chilly minutes at Denis the Menace Park in Monterrey...a really great park for kids to climb and slide and swing but it was just so cold that we didn't stay long.
Next up, San Francisco, Novato and Grandma Chase!

Sorry for the lack of enthusiasm in posting's rainy and cold and Estella has been asking all morning, "Estella go on airplane to California." and I'm sort feeling like asking for the same thing! We're all kind of missing California...we've come home to some harsh realities here and it'd be nice if we could escape back to vacation mode...

Friday, June 5, 2009

Los Angeles & Uncle Mark

We had a really great visit with my brother, Mark (and Attie, too), in LA. He lives in a great house in Los Feliz in LA...not the kind of architecture you'd find in big and roomy!
The weather was gorgeous the whole time we were and sunny all day! We did a few fun touristy things-using Estella as our excuse...a trip to Travel Town:
The tar pits and the museum we so cool! The museum has a ton of skeletons found in the pits and there were also tar pits all around the property...actual bubbling tar that you could walk right up to and touch! Very cool!

We also went for a visit to Vacation:
And right around the corner...we had some frozen yogurt:
I had to include a picture of the yogurt shop, only because it was so not Vermont!

Estella and Attie loved each other! Estella tormented Attie and Attie kept Estella with a face full of dog licks the entire time!
We had a really great couple of days...hopefully it won't be another four years before we make it out again!
Thanks for a great visit, Mark! Hope to see you soon!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

a long trip

Well, we're back! There's so much to catch up on that I thought I'd do a couple of different posts to catch up. First things first...Walter graduated!! with Honors, no less :)

We had a really nice weekend with family and fun and being thankful that it was all over with.
And then two days later, we left for California....but didn't quite make it there as planned!

We missed our connecting flight in JFK and ended up spending almost 10 hours in the terminal waiting on standby. Estella managed to get in a 45 minute nap in a quiet corner:
And since we were there all day long we found all of the fun spots to play and hide:
I won't get into all of the details describing just how difficult the day was, but it was very long and frustrating...and to make a long story short, we arrived in LA safe and sound!
And we managed to arrive late enough to avoid most of the traffic!

I'll post more about the trip later, and I'm happy to report that it only got better! For now, we're off to the Farmer's Market!