Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I heart faces - Scenic Black and White

This is my entry for this week's challenge at I heart faces challenge - "Scenic Black and White"

Edited to add that I just missed the cut off by literally seconds -  oh well.

Be sure to head on over to the website to check out the other wonderful entries.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Finally Christmas crafting.....

I've not been sewing at all since I moved my sewing things into the main living area - too much going on, and once everyone is in bed I'm too.....ZZZZZzzzzzZZZ...... to do anything requiring the use of my brain ;)

Today I had the whole day tho, so I finally got down to it.  I used a women's tank top that I picked up the other day - it's quite shimmery/metallic looking which doesn't really show all that well in the photo.

I used shirring on the tank top, after cutting the top straight off.  I saved the straps and sewed them back on at the end.  The tulle was just folded in half and then again lengthwise (4 layers) and then gathered along the folded edge, and sewn onto the bottom of the shirt.  I used a zig zag stitch for that and sewed twice - no idea if it will hold long term tho - I've not used tulle this way before.

It's pretty tho, and my girls will love to dance in it :)

I'm trying to pair down my list of things I'm wanting to make to something in the realm of reasonable ;) 

I'm not having much luck tho ;)

The problem with Christmas, is that in my attempt to keep it from turning into a greedy consumer fest, I end up burning out trying to make everything.  Every year we are scaling back a little more - but I'm also trying to make sure the kids experience is a magical one.  Now if I could just start crafting earlier in the year - but there is something in me that just isn't the least bit interested in crafting for Christmas until November.  Before then it's just too much for me to wait to give it to them I think ;)  I do love making gifts.  

Thursday, November 18, 2010

This moment - playing with glass

Inspired by Amanda Soule {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I was driving along today and realized that my sweet husband and I met and fell in love 12 years ago this month.  It's a lovely story, one that made me believe in love at first sight,  so I thought I'd share it here.

A friend of mine had a crush on a man that worked at a store and wanted to show me who he was, so we went window shopping.  I was immediately smitten and the chemistry was obvious.  I was panicking tho!  I didn't know if this was "her" man or not.  I talked with him for ages, our eyes locked the entire time.  Finally it was time to go, and as soon as we were out of ear shot I asked if that was him.  She said no - thank god!  and I said right away, "Good cause  I could marry that man".

From that day on I've believed in "Love at first sight" with all of my smitten heart.

And recently my husband confessed that on that day - seconds before I was declaring my plans to marry him, he had peaked his head out the door to watch me walk away :)

This time of year - late fall - the feeling in the air will always remind me of the time when we were falling in love.

A day with my biggest girl

I got to spend the whole day with my girl today - just me and her.
It seemed fitting that since I love taking pictures, and she loves posing for pictures (and taking them too), that we should get outside and go have a photo shoot!

*disclaimer - prepare to be bombarded with pics.  I couldn't help myself. 
There were too many that I loved. *

If you remember, I've been learning how to use the manual settings on my SLR - I've not had much chance to try at all - in fact this is only the 2nd time I've spent any time outside really playing around with it.  I love the feeling tho, as over and over that light bulb in my head lights up and something is clear - or clearer.  I feel as tho one could never stop learning where photography is concerned - I love that!

She still loves to hug trees after all these years
(she used to hug the sad lonely telephone poles when she was a little girl )

She's really fun to photograph!  She is quite comfortable in front of the camera - as I'm sure most teens are these days with the explosion of photos on facebook....

Isn't she beautiful???

I really want her jacket.  Badly.  I might actually have to go searching for a similar pattern.

We had so much fun, being silly and giggling.

I love that I accidentally overexposed this!  It's a bit tricky to get used to changing settings when you're used to just pointing and shooting - it's a good kind of tricky tho - makes my brain happy - even if it is at times frustrating.  I was taking pictures of her in a hollow tree trunk, and completely forgot to check the exposure - they all turned out really dark.  That's ok tho - the beauty of digital photography is that you can take as many shots as you like!  I think I took around 250 shots today, so missing those wasn't such a big deal...

I'm fairly certain that I have an identical shot of Little Miss A running at this very spot with her nearly identical hair flying just like that....

The feet - an exercise I was trying from a photography book.  I didn't have the book tho, and I'm not sure if I did it right!  It was sooooo hard to get a shot that was focused clearly on the feet.  The background is super fun tho - I'll be playing around with this more for sure.  

I'm one of those people that loves to read really long novels - the longer the better - a whole series of long novels is even better.  I love to be fully immersed in pretty much whatever I'm interested in.  So instead of feeling overwhelmed by all there is to learn in photography, it just feels like my own personal playground!  Always new, and always getting more interesting, more fun and rewarding.

I'm so in awe of this fairy girl of mine.  Almost 16 now - she's matured so much and just continues to amaze me with her loveliness every single day.

It was a close call getting to this spot - she very nearly took a plunge !

Eventually she decided that it was my turn to have pretty pictures taken of me - if she got to have so many - then only fair if I had some too.  And besides - she was just itching to get her hands on my camera ;)

Considering how few pictures there are of me - it was nice to be on the other side  of the camera for a change....

tho I'll admit to being a bit nervous in front of the camera - coming from the film generation and all ;)

The day ended with mochas at the local coffee shop.  With real whip cream on top :)

When we have a day together it's pretty much just assumed that coffee will be part of the picture.

She loves her coffee.....

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I feel snow coming.  As the end of fall draws near, Christmas is on my mind - as it always is this time of year.  I try to make as many gifts myself as possible - this is really my most favorite part of any holiday - the handmade part.  I have a hard time getting excited about buying stuff for Christmas, especially as my current focus is decluttering, and organizing this little house of ours.  The idea of more stuff, or even a break from that focus on decluttering has been hard to wrap my brain around this year.  There's something about feeling the chill of snow on it's way that really kickstarts that Christmasy feeling for me (is that even a real word? - who cares ;)  I like it ;)  )

Last year I stumbled on a description of an old Christmas saying that people used to go by for gifts, in a time when gift giving was simpler - not so overblown.

Something you want,
Something you need,
Something to wear,
Something to read.

I really really like this.  I followed this loosely last year, and I liked that it made it much easier to keep things reasonable.   We've been talking a lot about scaling back a little more each year, focusing more on handmade, and more on spending time together as a family *outside*.  Last year we decided that part of how we would do that was to ski this year as a family - as a Christmas present - season's passes for all and much less under the tree.   Again - this feels so good!  I don't want Christmas to be all about getting, and buying.  Not really qualities I'm looking to nurture, in a world that desperately needs to see a scaling back of desires, and over consumption, it makes sense to nurture healthy attitudes / values now while they are young.

I'm brainstorming ideas to suggest to the kids for making gifts for each other.  The scientist is quite keen to dye playsilks for the girls using blanks from Dharma Trading Company using food coloring.  I always used koolaid in the past, and was often disappointed when we couldn't get all the colors in the rainbow.  I'm excited to do a whole rainbow of scarves this year!  I should really put up a tutorial - it's sooooo easy.  Ridiculously so.

Today is my day off - my husband takes the kids to town, and I do whatever I need to do *all* *day* *long*  it's heaven!  It's so good for my introvert self to have quiet, the satisfaction of getting things done quickly, and recharging so that i can greet them when they come home ready to be fully present with my loves.

And so on that note, I'll be off to start my day.  They've all just rushed out the door, and the house is quiet :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

I heart faces - Silhouette

This is my entry for this week's challenge over at i heart faces.  I think that probably my only complaint about this wonderful place I live is that we just don't get sunsets - rarely anyway, and never the stunning kind I just saw when checking out the entries over at i heart faces.  

Be sure to head on over to i heart faces to check out the absolutely stunning shots this week.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I've been slowly but surely learning how to use my SRL camera - it's quite the learning curve!  Recently I've been trying to make the switch to using the manual setting for most of my shots.  This has been really frustrating - and really rewarding.  Yesterday I finally managed to get out with my girls, my camera, and sunshine, all at once :)  I was very pleased to come home with these.....

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

studio condensed

With a much needed shifting of rooms, to accomodate the changing needs of our very large family, (in a very small house no less)  I've given up my studio space recently.  This meant cramming a whole room full of yarn and fabric and all that goes with, onto a few shelves in our dining room.

Yesterday I had a quiet day alone to set things up.  We had already cleared all of the shelves, and painted the room.  I thought that painting might lift my spirits a little, as I try not to worry to much that my little ones will pull everything down, wander off, and either lose, or break everything (Ok I wasn't worrying, I was panicking ;)  )   I'm not done with it yet - there is still quite a bit of stuff to sort through, but I got the basics set up, and I even sewed a curtain to contain it all a little.

Here's a couple shots of how it used to look - I can't find any with bigger shots of the whole room.  We've never painted this room, and it was quite a mess.  The ceiling was painted the same cantaloupe color as the walls which made the room feel a lot smaller than it is.

Here it is with the new curtain

The fabric is by Anna Maria Horner..... quite definitely my favorite fabric designer :)

You can see them here - just scroll down to the Drawing Room line.

There is something about her fabrics that just make me feel so good!  I just love this curtain - it makes me smile in a big way every time I look at it :)

My hidden sewing nook... 

This has worked perfectly actually, as I can leave the sewing machines set up.

The barest bones of all my fabric....  I actually love the look of stacks of fabric :)

Monday, November 8, 2010


I love the way this scientist of mine will repeat the same experiment over and over and over again, soaking up all sorts of subtleties that he would likely have missed if he'd only done it once.  Over time he changes things - just a little - to find out what happens, until his understanding just blossoms.  I'm in awe.

I heart faces - orange

This week's them over at I heart faces is "orange".  This my entry - it's pushing it a little, as even tho i know that the little hoody she's wearing is closer to orange than red, it looks a little red here in the photo.  I can't for the life of me find any other orangey photos tho, so here it is :)  

Friday, November 5, 2010

This moment

Inspired by Soulemama {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. 

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Busy busy bee

I haven't been around much the last week or so - I've been immersed in changing the house around some more.  With 7 people crammed into a small (less than 1200 sq feet)  house, it's an ongoing challenge to make it work.  We have only owned this house for a year (tho we rented for 5 years before that) so we are still really fine tuning, painting, renovating, switching rooms around etc.   With kids needing their own rooms, I'm about to give up my studio space, so I'm really really focussed on getting everything organized just right, as I'm going to have to incorporate all of my sewing and knitting materials into our already overflowing house.  I've got a plan tho ;)  And I'm going to paint - it's a tricky way of distracting myself from the loss of my space ;)  I'll post photos when I'm done :)  We're almost finished with the bathroom reno, so I'll have before and after pics of that soon too :)

We also have all the usual fall chores to get through, like the enormous wood pile.....

It's crazy huge.

I'll probably just post photos for a bit until I get things sorted out, but I'll be back soon - I've got to get working on Christmas and birthday gifts asap - we have 4 birthdays between December and February, so I've got birthday gifts to make too!

Monday, November 1, 2010

A little peek at Halloween....

It's funny - with all the sewing I do the rest of the year, you'd think I'd be all over Halloween ...

Nope.  I can't tell you why - I really have no idea other than it seems to sneak up on me each year.

Christmas, birthdays - I'm there.  Halloween I seem to sleep through each year.

Oh well.  I think it's pretty hard to not have fun on Halloween, so I'm not gonna sweat it ;)

Actually I'm looking at the little Raggamuffins and realizing that despite my lack of thought into costumes - they're still wearing a bunch of mama made items regardless ;)  So there ;)  

It's so easy as mamas to feel like we're not doing enough - or to overextend ourselves trying to do it all.  I say we're enough.  Period.  No more guilt.  We do our best, and that is
enough. Yep - I definitely have to talk myself into that one, but I'm hoping to make it stick.  Seems like wise words to me.  

 ( the link, not the sleeping cow ;)  )

A certain wee cow slept all afternoon - much of the time on this piano stool - and actually waking, moving to the bed, waking, and moving back to the piano bench!
It was a long nap.

My sweet little cow greeted everyone at each door with "Trick or Treat! MOO!"

A certain little rainbow fairy went on strike and refused her wings ;)

I suppose she's a rainbow girl?

She absolutely amazed me by running full tilt almost the entire night!  I was literally begging her to
 slow down at the end *I* couldn't keep up!

And well the scientist was ..... a mad scientist - and acted the part beautifully.

I think this may be the first year that I really was able to relax about Halloween.  I've struggled so much with the whole candy fest thing - and my kids really reacted badly to so much of the candy for so long.  This year after some treatments to help with their allergies they did really well and it's been smooth sailing mostly ;)   

It was nice tho - to just go with it - I remember Halloween so well - the magic and excitement of it.  It wasn't until I really sat back and truly *felt* those memories that I realized it wasn't a fight I was up for.  I don't want to fight with my kids anymore over ideals.  I want to just let them be kids - my ideals are just that - ideals.  Kids are so simple - you really do need to go with the flow - it's so much more enjoyable than trying to fight your way upstream.  Over the years I've read soooooo many books on parenting, and education, and  gotten caught up in this method or that method.  No more.  This mama has come to the conclusion that it's really a lot more simple than we all try to make it.  Connect with those kids.  Just love them up.

Remember that saying...

Don't sweat the small stuff.  It's all small stuff.  

It's so true.