Sunday, March 28, 2010

sunday afternoon bookclub

I was in the kitchen fixing lunch and dinner ahead, Calvin was sleeping, Grace was upstairs with her friend Mamie, and the other 2 children were being very quiet.  I went to see what they were up to and found them on the couch....

I peeked under the blanket, where I was informed this was their bookclub.

Can I join?, I asked.  Yes, but I couldn't join unless I got a book.

So I did.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


The other night it was just me and the little 2, and I got the urge to move our computer desk from the dining room into Lily's room, which is right off the dining room, and have a little craft/computer room.
I envisioned putting it here where the dresser is, and moving the dresser up to Grace's room.  Grace's room has 2 twins, one of which will be Lily's eventually.  Right now, though, Lily is sleeping in Eric's bottom bunk. 
I also thought I'd move this craft cabinet into Lil's room and make a space for doing art projects that don't involve the dining room table...

So the fun began.  I found that I couldn't fit the desk through the doorway, no matter how I turned it.  I ended up removing the door, which was tremendously HEAVY, being solid wood and 7 feet tall.

I got the desk into 'the spot.'  It looked awful there.  Funny how a good idea in my head can look soooo bad in real life.  I thought 'I have done for nothing.'  But then, how would I have known had I not tried?  I did get a lot of dusting done.  Organizing, too, so that was very good.
And Lil and Calvin had the best time playing in/around the desk, when I wasn't moving it around.

I got the craft cabinet moved in.  It looks pretty good there, I think.
THEN, I decided to move Calvin's crib out from our room into the space where I had wanted to put the desk.  It fits!   And here's a quandary...I think I'll leave the lilac and white stripe on the walls, but I want to paint over the pink.  All I can come up with is some variation of green, but then I have a green bedroom, green kitchen, green garage, green bedroom (well, half green) for Grace, and I want to paint the dining room some shade of green potentially.  I think that's Too Much Green.  Maybe I'll do this room green and the dining room something else.  Something funky.  Hmmm.  Any thoughts are welcome!
I really like this area here.
And here's our coffee table turned art table (which WILL be painted I'm sure).  It wasn't as long as I hoped (craigslist buy) but I liked the bottom shelf and the drawer.

So now this is Calvin's room/craft room.  We'll see how this works out!

Monday, March 22, 2010

garden 2010 & happy Spring!

The gardens are multiplying this year!  Grace decided she wanted to do a flower garden of her very own, so the beautiful Saturday (oh, how glad I am that this cold, rainy day is happening on a Monday, and not over the weekend) we dug out a 5 by 6 patch in the side yard.  This turned out to be quite funny.  When I told her where to stake it, I said to stake it out 'around the dogwood tree' and she literally did--the dogwood was right in the middle!  So I said 'no, I meant near the, move it closer to the porch, with the tree being the center point and mark off a few feet on each side', which somehow was again misinterpreted, ala Amelia Bedelia.  We were laughing. 

Rob also built me a real compost bin!  Which I'm so excited about.  And 2 more 4x8 raised beds.  That plus the edges all around that I'm going to also plant in means I'm more than doubling the vegetable gardens.

Yesterday we tucked tiny seeds into their little dirt beds and whispered 'grow, grow' and watered and set them up in the basement with their grow light.  We'll be anxiously awaiting them to come poking up.

This is what we planted indoors:

lime basil
sweet basil
english thyme

green zebra
black krim
yellow pear
paul robeson
green sausage

brussels sprouts
mexican sour gherkin cucumbers
jelly melon kiwano

love in a mist

This is what we'll sow outside:

sweet peas

sugar snap peas
carrots--muscade, tonda di parigi, royal chantenay, danvers

...will we have enough garden space???

Saturday, March 20, 2010

outside awesomeness...and more pillows

Happy First Day of Spring!  We played out on the porch--lots--this week.
I'm so glad we re-did this porch last fall, it is soooo nice to be out here now.
So I sewed more pillow covers for the couch pillows.  I used only fabric I had in my stash, so I didn't have to buy anything but 3 zippers.  Now it's a hodge podge of fabrics, but a cozy hodge podge I think!  I definitely prefer this to the previous look.
Scenes from our nature shelf-the springtime birdies and eggs and butterflies are out! 

Friday, March 19, 2010


Eric made some 'floodpuddles' in the garden.  Calvin had to check it out.
Tentatively, at first.
The water was COLD.
But he liked it.  Here he's signing 'more'.
He really liked it.
Lily joins in.
Trying to step in it.  This is where I drew the line.
Really into it. Great sensorial experience!  Which reminds me, I need to have Rob build a sand table...
Grace decided she wanted a mud foot soak. 
Ooh, it's cold!
Everybody likes some mud, right?  I even got some on me.  So after getting Calvin in the tub and taking laundry downstairs and scrubbing mud off walls and shoes (actually, I threw the shoes in the wash), I changed my jeans.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

glimpses of my garden

Pictures taken around our backyard this week.  Tulips. daffodils, peonies, lilacs!  We have 2 baby lilacs, the smallest of which is only 4" tall.  Lils and I checked on it yesterday and it's budding too.  We danced around and sang 'it's alive, it's alive, it's alive!'

This weekend we'll be planting seeds.  Welcome, spring!

Monday, March 15, 2010

more on pillows (and some photos)

These couch throw pillow covers were pretty much shot and I was ready for a change anyway, so I ripped out the old zippers to re-use and got some fabric out of my stash.  I finished one pillow Saturday and was ready to finish the second pillow when I couldn't find the second zipper.  I looked everywhere and nada.  Then this morning as I was emptying the laundry hamper, there it was (Calvin!).  So I finished the second pillow.  Aside from the zipper ripping-out and the missing zipper for 2 days, these were quick and easy.
Now I'm thinking about re-covering the larger pillows that came with the couch, they're pretty blah.

Rob took some pics last week--mostly black and white--see the set here.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

the winds of change

...can you feel it?  It's coming.  I'm feeling it this week.

The world is waking up, though it still looks mostly dead. 

But it's not.

We're using this warm weather inspiration to work in the garden.  I took up the bricks that I had put all the way to the edges between these 2 raised beds and am using them as a walkway on the ends here.  We'll be more than doubling our garden this year (yeah!) and I'll use that space to plant carrots or similar.

So there will be lots of grass diggin' up, lots of raised bed building, and lots of planting coming up here.

'Grandma and Grandpa in the Garden'
taken last May during the building of these 2 raised beds.  2 more to come!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Vintage pillowcases, I love you

So I've got a 'thing' for vintage linens.  Napkins, tablecloths, dishtowels, sheets, you get the idea.  Not the least of which is pillowcases.  I'm already twitchy for garage sale season and hope I can find more lovely ones.  I saw my crafty cousin, Casey, today who asked me if I had ever made a pillowcase dress.  No, I haven't, but I know I have seen tutorials and it's on my 'to make list'.  So I found my links I have saved--one for the dress, and one for adorable pj pants.  See here and here.  Oh, and I found a cute top here.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

morning sky & easy pillow slipcover

This was my view out of my front door this morning.  So peaceful and beautiful.  Makes me want to freeze time and live in this light for always.

Last night I sewed a super easy square pillow slipcover for Grace's other twin bed.  Long ago I had sewn her an exact same one (back when she only had one twin bed in her room).  So here we go.  I used 2 cotton hankerchiefs, though any fabric will work.  A 20" zipper fits perfectly on it.  Sew one side of the zipper on.
Then the other side (sorry for the inconsistent lighting.  Yeah, haven't got this camera thing down yet).
Now you've got a big rectangle with a zipper in the middle.  Fold fabric in half, right sides together.  Be sure to open the zipper halfway.  Very important.
Sew up all 3 sides and turn rightside out.
That's it!  Slip over your pillow and zip.  Throw on the bed, couch, floor.  Easy to remove & toss in the wash.  Note that you don't really need to buy a pillow form at the craft store, either.  Goodwill has lots of throw pillows that could be easily recovered with this method.  Just adjust for the size.  Oh, and I picked up some bamboo fiber stuffing at Joann's yesterday.  I have gotten wool before (online) and loved it, I always prefer the natural fibers over the polyfill.  It costs more (twice as much) but with a 40% off coupon at Joann's, it was only $1 more.

Happy Weekend!