Monday, June 30, 2008

Puffins and Mushrooms and Hedgehogs, Oh My!

I recently made some shark fin cupcake toppers for my son's swim team....just for kicks. They turned out pretty cute so I thought I'd join a 'handmade cupcake topper swap.'

I forgot to take pictures of the ones I sent my partner but these are the ones I received.....aren't they cute?
The actual colors are MUCH brighter than shown here....I didn't want to take them out of the packaging.

I wish I could find those double prong type of toothpicks she used. They are much sturdier than the normal toothpicks I find.
I can't wait to have an 'excuse' to use these little toppers!
Thank you Megan!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Another good meet!

Last Friday Ripstick boy was in a swim meet......I posted about it on Monday.
Here he is now with his ribbons. One first and 2 fourth place!
Not bad, not bad at all.

Keep up the good work! The 'A ' meet is this coming weekend.

Roosters and dots.........

Here is my latest creation for an apron swap I'm in.

I found this cute rooster fabric while visiting my family in Fort Walton a couple months ago. I've been 'saving' it for something special because it is sooooooo cute! When I read my partner's profile I knew she would love it!

I didn't have a pattern this time around but I really like how the apron turned out. It has 3 generous pockets.....all the way up to the first section of polka dot fabric.

I included a couple of kid approved recipes and a wooden spoon for kicks.

Doesn't "April" look wonderful in it?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Fish Called Wanda.......

I'm in a swap on swap-bot right now for 'stuffies.'
My partner likes tropical fish and loves the movie "A Fish Called Wanda" so I made her this little goldfish. She doesn't read my blog so I'm not concerned about posting it right away.

This is my 3rd stuffie so far and she turned out just like I envisioned. I had planned to embroider her name on a fin but decided against it and added the bow instead. That way, if she winds up being a child's toy, they can name her whatever they want!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Don't bonk your head!

Ripstick boy was in another swim meet this past Friday. He did pretty well....we still don't have the official scores yet though. He was in one last week too but got DQ'd for something...still don't know what. And the week BEFORE that, his goggles fell off when he dove into the pool....yea....we won't talk about that one. It was his only heat too. Not fun.

Overall, he has done very well for his first time swimming on a team. And considering he hasn't had swim lessons since 2004, he has done great!
He FLEW out of the gate and won 3 first places in his first swim meet. But that was BEFORE he realized how things work. Now that those competitive juices are flowing, he gets anxious and watches other kids. Which isn't a problem except when you are actually swimming IN A RACE.

I think he should wear blinders like some racehorses wear so they can't see the other horses. That way he can only concentrate on his own performance. Couldn't you just see that?

On to the pictures:

I still don't get the back stroke.........first you run into the lane dividers.....

then, you bonk your head.........well..........almost.

He got lucky this headache!

Seeing double..........

Last Monday, a friend of mind from Fort Worth gave birth to twin boys!
I usually crochet baby blankets but I've been busy and didn't get around to making them this time.
Hmmmmm, maybe its because I've been sewing all those APRONS.....

Anyway, I thought this cowboy flannel was sweet so I bought 3 yards of it and made large swaddling cloths, burpies and bibs.

BTW I got the bib tutorial from Chickpea and was pleased with how well they turned out.
The bibs are backed with more of the cute cowboy flannel.

If I know Rita (and I do) ...she has tons of GORGEOUS baby goods, so this fun set will be perfect for those more casual outings.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tie One On and Apronista challenges.....

Here is the apron I made for the June Apronista challenge of 'applique' AND the Summer Tie One On theme of 'gingham.'

I have always loved owls and thought it would be fun to make myself an apron with owls featured. I'd never done applique and I actually did it completely W. R .O. N. G. I just used my zigzag stitch but then found out I was supposed to use satin stitch or an applique foot.
But "whooooooo cares?" Not me.......I still like how they turned out.
I think I'll try to find an applique foot for my sewing machine and do it right next time!
This could be my latest obsession........

Here are a couple closeups of the owls:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

One year ago.......

This is our house as I saw it for the very first time....the day we moved in last June 16...YIKES!

The yard was so sad. The kids said it looked like the house from "Monster House." It even had a little "Charlie Brown" can see it on the right front of the photo. Needless to say, anyone who knows me knows I went into HYPER DRIVE and started changes as soon as the moving van pulled out. I am so fortunate to have a husband who loves DIY as much as I do!

Here is the 'one year' picture....I can't WAIT until the plantings mature. Click on the picture to see more of the plants up close:

Over the last year we concentrated on the front landscaping.
At the entry, I added some urns and repainted the door and shutters a color I liked better than the original mauve.

We couldn't afford to have a professional company do it......which is okay as we actually enjoy the work. First we moved the struggling azaleas (seen in the first photo) to a better location and now they are thriving.
Here is what we added so far.....
2 crape myrtles, lamb's ear, lavender, rosemary and thyme, a variety of ornamental grasses, day lillies, indian hawthorne, alyssum, 3 River Birch trees (they came in a clump) and 1 Lace Bark Elm, 3 ground orchids (still not blooming...too early), rain lillies, iris, lantana, purple oxalis, agapanthus, ballerina, fairy and knock out roses, and 2 bottle brush bushes! Everything we planted will naturalize and eventually choke out weeds which will mean less work for us in the long run.

We will add some purple coneflower, yarrow and fern leaf coreopsis but they aren't in stores just yet.

We added the pergola in March and the morning glories are about a third of the way up so far.
Next year they'll run a lot faster because they'll have something to hang on to. The ardesia is doing a great job of covering everything up on the ground and by next year, we won't need mulch or the little edging to keep them in place.

Here is a close up of the morning glories.....more bloom EACH day..........

Not a bad start! I can't WAIT to see the pergola at the end of October.....I hope the morning glories make it to the top this year!

So....what is our project for THIS YEAR?
We will work on the backyard.....we just added onto our teensy patio and once we get a free weekend, we'll add an arbor.
Then the REAL fun begins with foundation plantings and a permanent herb garden for these.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Leo!

Leo asleep in Curly Girl's little doll crib......he was so tiny. We'd had him 3 days when we took this photo.

Today is Leonardo Da Kitty's birthday. We think. Close enough........we really just counted back 7 weeks from the time we adopted him and gave him today's date as his birthday.

Curly Girl had always wanted a kitty and we decided she could have one once we moved. The only problem is that Dean is allergic to cats. But his reaction varies from "I'm gonna die" to "I can live with it." The only way to determine if he is HIGHLY allergic to an individual cat is to do the 'sniff' test!
So after stalking PetSmart for about a month, we finally found a group of kitties that passed Curly Girl's highly critical inspection. She found a few she deemed 'snuggle worthy' and played and loved on them for awhile. Once she narrowed it down to a couple, Dean stepped up to do the sniff test. It was SO funny. The 'adoption' lady had NO idea what was going on...Dean has these CATS and is rubbing his FACE with them and taking big deep breaths!
We decided if he didn't DIE on the spot, then either of the kitties would be fine in our home.
We go home to wait and although he did have a reaction, it was tolerable. So, the next day we go back to PetSmart and Curly Girl chooses the little kitty 'formerly known as Sneakers."
We brought him home and renamed him Leonardo Da Kitty....aka Leo. (thanks to Curly Girl and Ripstick boy coming up with a name that ties in the love of kitties with the love of art....)

So here he is in all his glory. I give you Leonardo Da Kitty!!!!

BTW for those out there who are also is a trick. One capsule of Vitamin E oil on their food once daily changes their saliva which is the cause of many cat allergies.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Mushroom Monday...

I was in a couple swaps recently and got these 2 wonderful mushroom goodies!

First is this AMAZING apron Heather made me for the Summer apron swap through swap-bot! The little potholder attaches to the apron with a it!

She also included a recipe for Mushroom bisque.......we WILL be trying that!

I also received this CUTE little toadstool from lucykate's toadstool swap! She has tutorials and other things on her blog so go see what she makes....she has some seriously beautiful softies.

My mystery partner was Maggie and I really like the toadstool she sent me. Brown and turquoise is an amazing color combination.
She also has an etsy store so go check it out! She makes the sweetest baby blocks and toys.

Here is the one I sent her.......I also included one of my little toadstool book marks!

Thank you to both ladies!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

From our house to yours, Happy Father's Day!

Friday, June 13, 2008

swim meet

Here is Ripstick boy with a couple ribbons from his second swim meet! It was this past Monday and it was SO HOT outside!

We were proud of him but more importantly, he was proud of himself.

No blues this time but the competition was STIFF.

The "Lotta" Trouble Apron.......

I was in a Summer apron swap that required I make a full size apron for my partner....something I'd not done before. I was also needing to do my Apronista apron challenge using 'applique.'
I thought it would be a good idea to combine the two.

Yeah, I was wrong.

I decided to make the reversible and appliqued apron out of Lotta's book.
I bought the book a few months back and had no trouble making a couple items.....some potholders and an apron.

I cut out the pattern and realized I totally did NOT get the 'side panel' part of the pattern. But I usually figure stuff out pretty well so I went ahead and cut out the fabric.
(The fabric is another story....I only had a yard of the strawberry....I got it through a swap. )

I start sewing....not a problem until I get to the side panel part again. I sort of work it out and put it all together. (But the side panels still looked weird.......and the book had ZERO pictures regarding the placement of them.)
I took it and serged the edges to clean everything up and OOPS.......I ran over part of the bodice.

Its obvious by now that my full apron idea ain't gonna happen....unless I want a big old patch over one boob. I already had made the ties AND the applique was finished, so I couldn't pitch it. But I didn't have more strawberry fabric so I couldn't start over.

Instead, I cut it down and made it into this half apron (still reversible...)

Turned out cute enough but still...NOT what I had intended.

OH and the full size apron I had to make? I made this one instead....
OH and the strawberry fabric? Yep...I found more of it the day AFTER I finished this one..........

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mail Call!

Yesterday I had 2 aprons from swaps arrive in the mail! :-)
The first one is a reversible apron from my partner in Abbey's apron swap!

I LOVE it.....the colors are great and the style is so cute!
I also got a beautiful turquoise bracelet to match.

Here is the reverse side:

I'd like to send out a BIG thank you to my partner but I don't know who it came from!
I guess it will remain a whoever made this...THANK YOU!!!!!!!

The second apron that arrived came from SueAnn over at Giabella Designs!
She sent me this wonderful Independence Day apron complete with flip-flops, cheese spreaders and a mini apron for dish soap.

Thank you SO MUCH to both wonderful apron makers for sending me these works of art!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Summer daisies........

I was in another apron swap recently and can now post the apron I made.
My partner likes vintage style so I picked a 'cobbler' style apron. I'd never made one like this before but it turned out pretty.
I chose the daisy fabric because it reminded me of summer wildflowers and because it is light weight.
I can't imagine wearing a heavy apron in the summer.......
I added the additional 'stuff' for the swap and some goodies too.
I hope she likes it!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

another good day!

Ripstick boy got all his ribbons from his first swim meet! I didn't know they gave the ribbons out to you AFTER the meet.....hence last week's premature post. Oops..........
He actually won 3 first place, 1 third place and 1 'heat' winner for a relay......

Monkeying around......

Here is an apron I made for my niece's birthday. She is a zoologist and works for the 'big' zoo in Omaha Nebraska. Although she isn't working with primates right now, they are her favorite animals to work with. When I saw this 'Curious George Goes To The Zoo' fabric, I knew I had to make her something with it!
I included a potholder from the same material, some notepads and a clever monkey vegetable peeler from "the store I hate but have to shop there because this city has no decent stores."

Here is the reverse side. After making it, I decided I SHOULD have made her a craft apron so she could have worn it to work.....oh well, maybe next time!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Gifts from 2 Marys

Saturday was a good 'mail' day!
I needed a bit of cheering up and look what I got in the mail!
First of all, Mary from the Apronista group, made me this AMAZING vintage apron for the swap we were in. She used a vintage about spoiling me. I've never had a full apron fit me before so she took the time to shorten the hemline and added 2 button pins so I could adjust the straps. The coral of the fabric with the brown is just lovely and I like the bit of ric rac that peeks out from the pockets.

Isn't it LOVELY?

Here is a close up of the button pins she made...sorry its a bit blurry:

She added a brightly colored floral summer tote for our library day visits!
Here is a picture of it with ANOTHER tote that I won from Mary over at a very mary design.....
The one I won is the precious red gingham tote....perfect for carrying essentials.....if I can get it back from my daughter!

Thank you both Mary AND Mary for making my day!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Goodbye Uncle Joe

One of my favorite people has passed on. My sweet Uncle Joe...he had Lou Gehrigs's and left us on Monday. Through a turn of events, I didn't get the news and just found out today.
I am usually so quick with words and can write pretty words and poetry in 5 minutes but not today.
So instead I just put down a few words to remember a truly wonderful Christian man who brought absolute joy to my Aunt's life and the family they created. ...and who managed to bring light and joy into other's lives as well.

Good bye Uncle Joe.
I love you like my 'second' dad.....
you had such pain in your past but I never knew it......I was so young when you came into our lives...but knowing it now makes much sense of many things.
You made everyone smile and made my sweet Aunt Betty happy
Your children are a testament to your household
I remember wanting to be a part of that so badly
You threw me in the air and gave me bear hugs that almost hurt...but they didn't because they were so full of love...I would have let you crush my ribs to feel those arms.
You were the only one I liked being tickled by because you knew when to quit.
When I heard the news of ALS I cried so hard but Aunt Betty was so strong on the phone...just like always
A part of me hoped you could get better but I wasn't a child so I knew you wouldn't
Every night I prayed for you to be at peace and now you are, as it should be.

I love you

Friday, June 6, 2008

OH! Manatee.........

For my 100th post, I had a little give away and Heather over at Frankenpug won.

She requested an amigurumi for her prize and her first choice was a manatee. So I found a little pattern with the help of Needlenoodles at Etsy and made this one for her.
Just look at that FACE!

BTW, you GOTTA check out Heather's little dog in his "Frankie" outfit. Whenever I need a giggle, I just click on her blog link and go look at his picture..........OMGosh it is tooooooo funny!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Some Sassy Apron...

Look what was in my mailbox today! This sweet and sassy apron that fits me perfectly!
Solidia included a cute necklace and green striped tea towel.

Thank you Solidia....and thanks again to Lucy for hosting another great apron swap!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Summer 'carnival' 2008!

Okay, so I read about this on my friends blog. She read about it on HER friends blog.

I thought it would be fun to join in! After all, I'm a big organization nerd myself.

With two older children, the pressure of entertaining them takes on a new dimension. And living in Slidell certainly presented some unique challenges when we moved here almost a year ago. We've always lived in larger cities and had plenty to do and to occupy us. We were SPOILED. (Throw in the fact that Katrina wiped out many local in 6 Flags got blown away, art and craft studios were demolished by the one HEARD about Slidell on the news but it was hit just as hard as New Orleans.)

All that aside, here is our general 'plan...'

1. Mondays are our lazy day of the week. Ripstick Boy has swim team practice in the evening so the day will be one of those hang out kind of days, catching up, reading.....

2. Tuesday is art and library day followed by lunch. Tuesday Curly Girl has an art lesson so we are going to use that as an excuse to go out to lunch after. While she is in art class her brother and I will go to the library for a little one on one time. Later that day, back to the pool for swim practice.

3. Wednesday is project at home day. Cooking with both kids, art with Curly Girl. She has so many projects in mind.....better penmanship, sewing, crocheting. In the afternoon....back to the pool for practice!

4. Thursday is golf and late night at the pool day. Ripstick Boy has golf in the morning so while he is playing, I will have my one on one with Curly Girl at the library. The kids can invite a friend to go to the pool with us and we'll plan on eating there too. Typically, we do errands toward the end of the week so Thursday and Friday will have to absorb some of those 'unfun' things......

5. Friday is free day, there is NO swim team practice! This will be the day we go to a movie or take a 'field trip' to the local blueberry farm.
Being so busy on Tuesday and Thursday, they need some down time!

Needless to say, the kids are going to get in a ton of swimming this summer. We don't go until later in the day but we stay for a minimum of 3 hours each evening. (Bonus...Dean meets us there a couple nights a week so I get to work out while they swim....)
Once swim team is over in July, we'll switch times and go to the pool in the morning. Curly Girl wants to join the team next year so this summer will help her strengthen her skills.

I set an additional table for ongoing art and craft type projects in the sewing room. We also cleared (hahahaha) the table upstairs in the loft to set it up for puzzles and board games.
Both kids are good readers so I don't have to schedule it in.

We found 3 blueberry farms and plan on visiting in June before the season ends but we don't have a date scheduled yet....maybe THIS Friday?

Although we don't have a formal 'vacation' planned this summer, we live 3 hours away from my family in Florida so I know we'll be going to the beach AND to the farm for a couple long weekends.

Furthermore, we usually go into New Orleans at least once a month for a fun family day.
Just this past weekend, we ate lunch in the Quarter and then went to see the Napolean exhibit in the State Museum of Louisiana....we also got to tour the old treasury mint.
Pretty fascinating...the kids loved every minute of it!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Monster Monday..... Monday was supposed to be for mosaics this summer.
But that was until Curly Girl became obsessed with the stuffies she has seen me make recently. So today I give you "Buttons" and "Jack".....2 little stuffie monsters!
The girls worked pretty hard on them....especially for their first 'sewing' project.
Althought I was there to help, the only thing I did for them was the pocket.
Curly Girl announced that we may have to make a change this summer and ONLY sew....she now wants a tote bag for books, a purse and another stuffie or two or three.........
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