Friday, February 29, 2008


Maybe I'll try to make some Easter bibs.

I have good intentions of making Easter bibs, that is. Intention, schmention. Looking forward to watching The Martha Stewart Show today. The creator of Etsy will be on and in the previews I see lots of familiar things - like wonderful creations from The Black Apple. Ms. Black Apple herself mentioned she'll be in NYC, so I wonder if she'll be able to make an appearance on the show as well? It's always so interesting to see online crafters on TV. Nice to put a face and a voice to the creativity I see online. This Etsy guy must be pretty interesting as well. What a great concept - a marketplace for all things handmade.

Speaking of intentions, I keep wanting to stock my Etsy shop. I'm slowly finding more time in the day for creativity. The littlest one continues to want Mommy most of the time, but as long as big brother is around he's usually pretty happy playing on his own. The floor of my work area is littered with toys and I just have to let it be. It's the only way I can sit here at my work table for little stolen moments of time to draw, paint or sew. The bigger one has his own little work table right behind mine. The idea was that it would be a place for him to be creative. But mostly, he ends up just wanting to take whatever it is I'm working on to play and tinker with. He's currently "fishing" with some components I keep for assembling mobiles. All the toys in this house and he insists on playing with my things??? I suppose I should just be happy that he's not trying to "hook" his baby brother.

It's cloudy today. Oh bother.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

green green green

Totally inspired by my shroom discovery.

Used to think I was a cold weather girl. Thought I'd love to live somewhere with lots of rain and snow and cold weather to keep me inside with nothing to do but knit and paint and bake. Noooooooo, Nooooo, No! (think Amy Winehouse and sing with me - They said I should move to Fargo, I said Noooooooo, Nooooo, No) Weather here is FINALLY back in the 70s. Rain is gone and the sun is out. I love being able to just putter out in the yard barefoot after breakfast. A little pruning and weeding, plant some flowers, tend to my seedlings. I need this warm weather. I feel so much better - more energy, positive thoughts, inspired by something as mundane as a mushroom. But one thing's for sure - all this rain has made everything so green. So for that, it's been worth it. I look out the window and green green green. The houses across the street that never have their yards watered look ten times better surrounded by green instead of brown scruff. Makes me think - we spend time trying to make our house and yard look nice, but what we mostly end up looking at are the houses across the street. Maybe I ought to go over there and offer to plant some flowers so we have something nice to look at.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

fungi so fascinating

Why do I find fungi so fascinating? Me and every other Etsy artist seems to want to recreate this fungal miracle. As I've mentioned previously, we've had a lot of work done in the backyard -- which I've yet to post about. So we've got a lot of mulch down and following all this unusually abundant rain, mushrooms have been popping up like crazy. I've been wanting to start sketching them. But I'm not really one to drop everything I'm doing to whip out the sketchbook every time the inspiration hits, so this morning I poked around the yard with my camera to capture some of these marvelous shrooms. My instinct is to say, "Ewww!" and then pluck them out. Why is that? Somewhere along the line someone must have implanted in my mind that mushrooms are disgusting. But now that it's my yard... the mushrooms stay! They're NOT disgusting! They're so pretty! I absolutely, positively love them.

Monday, February 25, 2008

goody goody gumdrops

Finally finished this canvas bag. (why am I always saying, "Finally did this/that"?) I always feel so accomplished when I sew anything now because I put that new sewing machine to good use. How often do I walk in my work room to see that poor sewing machine sitting there unused for weeks?

I was also able to use my new oversize printer for printing up this fabric. I'm no longer limited to 8.5" x 14"! At least this purchase came out of my crafting sales - so thank you very much to anyone who has ever purchased anything from me. That, also, is a great source of accomplishment - buying something with money made doing what I love. And there's not the guilt of - oh, I should have bought groceries with that money instead!

So, goody goody gumdrops! Am I back in the crafting groove again? Hopefully. Still tough keeping these two little boys entertained - but we might be getting into a routine here. I shouldn't say that and jinx it. Ah well, it's already out there. Nothing for me to do but work to make creative time a small part of everyday. Speaking of which...

I just read a wonderful little book by Kevin Carroll called Rules of the Red Rubber Ball: Find and Sustain Your Life's Work. It's so delightful just to look through - wonderful thoughts, graphics and pictures. But the message is inspiring too. All about figuring out what it is you were meant to do with your life and how whatever that is was probably something you became aware of as a child at play. Carroll then goes on to suggest rules for making that impulsive drive for whatever it is you think you're meant to do the very thing you do with your life. As anyone who's been reading this blog knows, I'm always in a constant battle of what I want to do versus what I think I ought to do. I want to make things. I should be an Architect. Rules of the Red Rubber Ball is inspiring to me because it almost seems to be saying that the hardest thing of all is figuring out what makes you happy. Once you figure that out, it's simply a matter of dedication, keeping your eyes and mind open, following your dream and letting others help you achieve you dream. It's nice to think it's as simple as that. Maybe it really is. What does this mean for me? I don't know. I'm not saying this delightful little book gave me any answers, but it certainly shed some light.

Monday, February 18, 2008

dreaming of the past

Ohmygosh...why can't I post like I used to? This project here has been a month in the works. (pictured up there) Just can't pump it out like I once used to. Well, let's be honest, I never pumped it out like I would have liked too. But it never used to be as dry as it's been recently. I've been having converstations, lately, with good friends of mine. Good friends, who, as it happens to be, were friends before the whole little "kidlet" faze of our lives appeared. It's so funny. We - the girls of the feminists - never really thought twice about career vs. motherhood. (of COURSE career would come first!) Now that we are mothers, it seems we're faced with quite a delima. We want to be good mommys but we also want to have the careers... more for our own peace of minds (as it turns out) than anything else. In my case, it's the whole debate on taking architectural registration exams or not taking registration exams. I must admit - it's comforting to find that close friends (even MALE friends who don't have the "mommy excuse") from college have not yet taken said exams. But... I'm doin' the mommy thing now so I don't gotta think about it now, right?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

toadstool cupcakes

Remember, the theme was "Teddy Bear's Picnic". And, as the story goes, the teddy bears gather in the woods for their picnic - so, that's where the toadstool cupcakes come in. A little far-fetched... but I thought they'd be cute. The fondant circles shoulda been smaller. I'd really like the excuse to make toadstool cupcakes again sometime so I could get it right.

Each sandwich wrapped in parchment and tucked inside a brown paper bag with label, of course.

Instead of cookies, I opted for preztel lollipops.

White wine punch, lemonade and homemade potato chips.


it did not rain.

pretzel lollipops

For the birthday party, I thought I'd try something different. It's usually cookies packaged up to give out as favors. But I think we're all starting to become more aware of the sugar we're shoveling out to our kids these days... so I tried something different. Using sticks intended for cookie-pops, I formed spiral shaped pretzel lollipops. This pic is of the pops after they've boiled in the baking soda water. Before baking they get a lollipop stick shoved in, a coat of egg wash and a sprinkling of coarse salt. Worked out great - but the recipe wasn't that good. Granted, I used the Martha recipe for pretzel bites - which get a sprinkling of spices and other sources of flavor. So, next time, I'll have to find a good pretzel recipe. Something with a little more flavor.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

alright, Scarlett

I don't suppose anyone really reads what I write here - I must admit that I am usually a picture browser when I visit my favorite blogs. So this entry - picture less - might go unseen by most. But it's still been on my conscious, the fact that I haven't posted in SO LONG. So, here's this quick little stab at it and hopefully I'll get back on the posting wagon tomorrow. My life has just been turned upside down by the absence of my laptop. It was so much easier to whittle away at a post while fixing breakfast for the boys. Photos were so much easier to upload with the SD memory card slot than it is with the cable connected to this here desktop computer. I've been later than late with my bill pay and the husband has resorted to calling in the middle of the day since I don't answer e-mail inquires about how we're doing. But I'm holding off on getting a replacement laptop, because, like every other red-blooded American, we're nursing a holiday-spending hangover. To be honest, wasn't all the holiday to blame. Project Backyard just happened to come along right about holiday time - so in my mind that big expense just got snowballed right into all the other money-sucking shopping trips. It was worth it though. Love to wake up and look out the window at my beautiful palms and bamboo. Been listening to this thing I downloaded from iTunes called Ocean Waves and Tibetan Singing Bowls. Lovely. I listen to that, and look at my tropical plants sway in the wind and imagine our house is perched on a cliff above the ocean - maybe somewhere in Big Sur or Monterey? It totally works. I'm totally convinced that if I walked over to the fence I'd see the waves crashing on rocks down below. This is all a side-effect of reading Eat Pray Love. I'm all into discovering the power of meditation now. Well, guess I can rest easy tonight knowing I posted something. Not much, but something. We'll get those pics off the camera and give an update of the birthday party tomorrow. Oh, I'll just think about that tomorrow. Alright, Scarlett O'Hara - now go eat dinner.

P.S. If you're dieting now, like I am, DO NOT look at Alicia's post today for Coq Au Vin Rosettes. Just kill me now.