Saturday, February 28, 2009

Winter weather makes me hungry...

The shopping trip was successful, but it took longer than expected. There were tons of people everywhere -- more than a typical Saturday. No recession in sight here today! The dress project is waiting for me while I make dinner. The weather forecast is calling for some snow -- which makes me want to cook and bake to make the house warm and cozy. Dinner is chicken cutlets, spaghetti and meat sauce (actually meat balls -- this is my surefire backup for the finicky eater little girl living here).

Now it's time to wait for March to "come in like a lion"... See you then!

lesson in working with a difficult client...

I didn't do a post yesterday because I was too busy with the birthday girl's outfit. So even though she was "way too tired", she (not so graciously) tried the skirt on after school for me. I was really almost done because all I needed to do was measure the elastic for the waistband. Well, Sofia is a lesson in physics when it comes to anything having to do with what I need her to do -- for instance "stand still while I adjust the waistband", to her, means, wiggle as hard as you can so that the skirt falls down to your knees -- get the idea? Sigh... So, with this particular skirt, the simple elastic waistband is not going to work. Okay, so how about a drawstring in addition to the elastic -- nope, not going to work here since the "party girl" will be wearing this to school and I will not be happy when she comes home and tells me the drawstring is wet from her trip to the bathroom during school. What to do...sigh... again. By now, the skirt is off of her and she is busy screaming at her brother for playing the Wii game that she was playing when I called her for the fitting. Sigh...again...pounding head. Done with yesterday...

...on to today! I must have dreamt about this all night -- because when I woke up this morning it was very clear to me that I should simply attach the undershirt I had planned for her to wear under the cupcake t-shirt. (side note: we are into the almost 8 year old "modest" phase) I explained this stroke of genius to my client and she liked the concept, but, not the fact that she would not be able to ever again wear her existing undershirt on its own. So -- after doing some prep work while waiting for hubby to come back from the vet with the dog -- I am off to the store (by myself) to purchase some new undershirts -- and possibly to treat myself to some air-popped popcorn and listen to this.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Now, she wants a skirt...

My little birthday girl has requested a skirt for her special day. After our shopping trip a couple of weeks ago, I put her birthday outfit out of my mind since, according to her, we purchased "the most perfect birthday outfit ever". Okay, so a girl is allowed to change her mind -- especially when it comes to her birthday. She has now decided that the shirt we purchased is still good -- but not the skirt. So, along with making a new skirt, I will be tweaking the shirt and adding a couple of accessories. Stay tuned for the results...

Vision complete...

Remember the picture in this post? This is what happened to that fabric! It is now the underside of a box seat cushion on the built-in bench in our front hallway. I purchased the fabric for the top side of this cushion before our house was even built. In my vision of our new home I saw a built-in bench seat in our front hallway -- however -- the blueprints for the house did not include a bench seat, and, the builder told us "no" when we asked if they could add it. So, that wonderful hubby of mine built it for me! So almost 3 years after purchasing the fabric (2 years since the house was completed) I can enjoy a long-time dream of mine. Vision complete!

top side of seat cushion

underside of seat cushion

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


While she was dressing for school this morning, Sofia commented that she is tired of wearing turtlenecks and winter jackets (me too!) Even though the temperature here is 17 degrees, there is no wind or humidity -- so with the morning light and construction activity there is definitely a hint of spring just around the corner.

Our home decorations are also feeling the change of season. As you can see in the picture, the mailbox is still wearing the candy cane garland from xmas. My goal is to have that and the rest of the valentine and snowman decorations put away by the end of Sunday. This week I am washing windows, sewing new curtains, making a last minute "birthday" skirt and running everywhere. Next week I'll be pulling out the birthday and bunny (easter) decorations, then I'll be waiting (for spring) too...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

my little artist!

In honor of Read Across America, the 1st and 2nd grade students at Sofia's elementary school are voluntarily taking part in a philanthropy project. Each child will create a picture of their favorite book. The finished work is then taped to the front of a new unopened box of cereal. The book boxes will be displayed in the school library, and then donated to a local charity. Here is the picture Sofia drew -- in about 15 minutes. She did not trace it -- the actual picture is on a 9 x 12 piece of paper (kind of an odd size, but that is what the school gave her to use).

For those of you unfamiliar with this book -- here is a picture of the actual cover.

I am impressed! Hope you are too!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

hey, what'cha doin' up there?

The stairwell continues to be a work in progress. Today, we are replacing the builder's standard light fixture with a pretty chandelier. For this job, you need the big ladder!

Onto the rest of Saturday -- hope yours is an interesting work in progress.

Friday, February 20, 2009

yellow week - day five

I just realized that I do not have a yellow week picture for Nicholas. So, the final yellow picture belongs to him, or, more literally -- because he is of the literal kind, his stuff. A mixture of growing up and staying little all at the same time -- well, in my mind anyway. Even though he is now way taller than I am, I still wrap my hands around the back of his head and give him the "kissy cheeks" goodbye when sending him off to school in the morning -- along with the "word of the day" (same concept as Sesame Street "letter of the day"). It all happens way too fast...

...and so did yellow week. Thanks for letting me play along with all of you-- I had fun!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

yellow week - day four

I have alot of buttons! :-)

These were a gift from my sister :-) She is the queen of yardsale finds! The kids enjoy sifting through them -- and I enjoy listening to their imaginative chatter while they do. Sometimes they go on for an hour or so -- and I sit with them as they describe the "best button ever", then, put it in "their pile".

Beats video games and TV anyday. Simple is good...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

yellow week - day three

This is not even the tip of the iceberg for the artwork pile. When Sofia is not here, her artwork gives me a much needed "kick in the pants". The ideas flow so freely out of her head and onto paper -- I think if she kept these thoughts inside, she would explode!

From left to right -- "cell phone" that opens and converts to a small laptop, Mr(s). Catface -- looks like a random thought to me, and, a bookmark appropriately labeled with the word "quiet" -- I guess she needs to remind herself, because she is all about "the noise"!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

yellow week - day two

Wow, the yellow is coming at me in bunches today! The sunshine is surrounding me!

After a long holiday weekend, the troops are back in the field (a.k.a. work and school) and I am here, with the dog and cats. It is a typical day here, but not so in the rest of the world. We are awaiting the birth of a new family member in Long Island!

Hope the sunshine surrounds you today also.

Monday, February 16, 2009

yellow week - day one

I am participating in yellow week -- hosted by Erin

As Rick was working on the wall, I thought it kind of neat that the power tool he is using happens to be yellow, so my first post of yellow week belongs to him!

The new wall makes me very happy -- and I also have a new light over the closet in the hallway. Hooray!

Hope the sunshine found you today too!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy V-day and some crocheting frustration...

Here's what the troops surprised me with at breakfast -- breakfast included also!

Then we were off to continue "the crochet lesson" -- 1st project is a blankie for a cute little golden retriever webkin. Looks like this project will be taking a bit longer than expected!


Now, I'm off to supervise a wall building project...
Hope your Saturday is happy!

Friday, February 13, 2009

painting, painting, everywhere...

Yesterday, I painted the breakfast bar ~~ finally! I love it!

Now I need to paint the rest of the kitchen. Here is my collection of Martha Stewart color chips on top of the breakfast bar. I like the color of the yellow chip for the kitchen walls.

Clean up area. The powder room is not painted yet, and is being utilized as the clean up area for downstairs painting.

The front door area is being utilized for preparation. Since we don't use the front door, this is a good area that is out of the way ~~ so it is both convenient for me and less likely for painting spills/mishaps.

I'm tired of the gold picture frames -- so they are getting a fresh coat of paint too!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Today is the 100th day of school. It is a blustery day -- but not in a Winnie the Pooh way at all. The sky here has been phenomenal since sunrise...


sunrise light on the rooftops
~ and the porch flag struggling against the wind

glorious mid morning sky

A good day to go fly a kite -- if I could only remember where I put the one we bought awhile back...

I am disappointed that the sunrise pictures of the conservation area were not good -- the camera must have had the wrong setting -- this was before my coffee kicked in. I am hoping that sunset will be spectacular.

What's this?
~ An old Christmas tree blew its way into the yard! I dragged it out to the curb and it was immediately taken by the wind again to continue its journey down the street and back into the conservation area. This is a major annoyance to me when people are lazy and just "drop off" this type of garbarge into the conservation area.

Orange glow of the sunset light on the treetops
~ a pretty end to a pretty, blustery day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

february thoughts...

Today is a perfect example of why February is my least favorite month ~~ because it lies! This morning I was as dreary as the day started out -- and this afternoon the weather is partly sunny and 65 degrees. I just came in from walking around the yard -- planning spring projects. All the windows in the house are open -- airing out some of the winter. After today, they will be closed again for more than a few weeks. The house has been vacuumed. The beds are airing out and waiting for clean sheets. We are having steak on the barbeque for dinner. What could be better on a winter day? Many of the neighbors are strolling up and down the bike path with their toddlers in tow -- jackets off. A motorcyclist just passed by -- I haven't seen many of those around here.

In the garden ~ some leftover garland from Christmas and daffodil sprouts too.

Today is Wednesday ~~ so I'm off to be "sign out Mom" at the school. The dog takes the ride to the school with me ~~ he'll be very happy to have the car windows open with the breeze blowing in his face.

Ahhhh! Smells like springtime in the air!

The garden hose shows the layout for a new walking path ~ one of our many springtime projects.

February, I do not like you at all -- but I will enjoy what you have given me today anyway! Hope your day is as beautiful as the weather!

Here's some more interesting thoughts about February.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What's the plan for today?

What organizes your day? Do you start out with a new plan, or, do you just continue the plan from the previous day? Does the phrase "What's the plan for today?" make you dizzy, or, send you running scared? Do you suffer from too much routine, and, not enough new plan?

Each day there is a new plan for me. When I first wake up in the morning, there is no plan. There is definitely a routine, but the plan is blank.

Here is my routine: Wake up at 6:15 a.m. ~~ this time is getting closer and closer to sunrise. I actually prefer waking up before the sun ~~ I feel like I'm ahead of things. Wake up one sleeping child. Hubby, son, and dog are already awake. Walk through dark bedroom into dark bathroom ~~ hopefully without stepping on cat(s) who are running into bedroom for morning greeting ritual. Close bathroom door. Open eyes and focus. Flip up lightswitch ~~ this step is the only one that varies according to my mood. Follow remainder of morning bathroom ritual.

Okay, you get the idea. Pretty mundane -- yet, if for some reason my routine is altered, there is no foundation for the new plan. The day is not grounded in this situation ~~ not always a bad thing ~~ but not healthy in excess -- kind of like eating junk food.

Today, the morning routine was followed successfully (with lights turned on) so, the new plan includes putting a second coat of paint on the inside of the front door. The color is Martha Stewart Lemon Chiffon in a semi-gloss. There is only a slight difference between the lemon chiffon color and the builder's glossy white color -- but for whatever reason it makes me happy -- so the time taken to paint is time well spent -- and time well spent should always be part of the plan!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Today is my Nona's birthday ~ February 9, 1882.

I will never know the happenings of that day. No one has ever told me who was there to help, what the weather was like, if there was a celebration of her birth.

Today, 127 years later, I am thinking of her.

Today, the weather hints of spring. The pregnant robins have been swooping by my window since sunrise...and eating winter remains of the fruit from the crabapple tree. I have painted my closet doors in a color that reminds me of the house she lived in when I was a child. The mingled scents of lemon dishsoap and fresh brewed coffee softly comfort me with thoughts of the tiny cottage that she called home.

These are lovely thoughts I have of a woman I hardly knew but helped shape who I am.

Oh, the iron and fabric in the picture depict a dream I had many years ago, that, in some strange, way connects me to this woman.

So, 127 years after the day of your birth, my Nona ~~ Happy Birthday to you!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

saturday mess...and a smile too!

Here's what we're up to today...

Some of the existing floor has to be removed and replaced to finish the family room flooring project. To save time, we decided to bring the powersaw upstairs, instead of running up and down the stairs to the basement to saw the wood. The plastic sheets prevent the sawdust from spreading through the house. The hall closet door was removed because some of the pieces that are being replaced run into the hall closet. There are boxes in that closet that haven't been opened since we moved in -- those were finally moved out and now I can put the shoe bin in there ~~ it has been sitting in my hallway, waiting... Another "I'll get around to it" task is now crossed off the list!

and...someone is feeling much better!
Happy Saturday!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

stomach flu...

Hope your day is going better than this...

We love to decorate the windows on our front entry sidelights. I wanted it to be a bit cozier for the winter months, so I made some curtains...

...out of paper! The bottom edge is trimmed in cotton crochet that has been sewn on. The center "seam" is sewn in a matching thread.

I used plain cardstock for these, but you could also use the beautiful scrapbooking papers that are available, or, tissue paper if you want to let a little more light in. You can pleat the paper, or, crinkle it ~~ the sky's the limit! Hmmmm... I'm thinking about adding some heart print valances for valentine's day!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


snow is pretty...

snow is fun...

but not for everyone!

Monday, February 2, 2009

superbowl sunday...pre-game

We're coming down to the wire...the 12:00 target was accomplished smoothly.

but then...

Sooooooo close! The deadline to return the nail gun was 4:00 p.m. So this is what I'll be looking at for at least a week -- the BIG, Fluorescent, orange, "OK" that was spray painted on the subfloor by the builders.