Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Unintentional Hermit


1. Lack of variety and interest; tedious repetition and routine.

The monotony of having to be home in order to put Lex to bed by 7 p.m. has really started to wear on me. Since I'm not able to push Ben's wheelchair and Lex's stroller at the same time, I'm unable to leave the house with them during the day. Occasionally we will go for a drive and get some coffee, or lunch. But we never leave the car. After work each day I'm left with about two and a half hours before I need to be home and Lex needs to be in bed. I've discovered that I'm really craving the presence of more human interaction in my life. In California my typical schedule included working at two schools and one in-home session per day. In total, I came across hundreds of people each day. I'm missing everything from the grumpy interactions with the school secretary, to the mindless conversations with the poof-haired lunch lady, to the cute hugs from all the kindergartners on the playground. Right now, five days a week, I basically come in contact with eight people a day. EIGHT.

During the gap between work and bedtime I feel the need to visit all the stores in town to just be around people. I'm just like those little blue-haired grannies who spark up conversations with anyone within a fifteen foot radius of them.  In fact, last week I had a good fifteen minute conversation with one of them regarding what type of window insulation I should buy for the winter. I make eye contact with anyone within the 25-35 year-old range, and make begging eye motions to them. Pleading, "pleeeeeeeeeeease talk to me, pleasssssssseeeee, say something. TALK TO ME!"

But, since I have to be "the good mom" and let my kid get a "good night's sleep" I'm trying to make the best of it. When we moved into our apartment I was delighted by the random extra nook area off the kitchen. I immediately claimed it as mine. We have a TV but have not had "channels" for over seven years. Not because we are trying to make a statement to humanity, just because we are too cheap. So I watch a lot of Hulu and do a lot of sketching/sewing/painting/writing to keep myself from going stir-crazy. In the last few weeks I've been watching all of Season One of My So-Called Life (!). I think I'm going to watch them all a second time just to count how many times they use the word "like." But oh man, Jordan Catalano can still make me go weak in the knees. Anyway, yes, I love my cozy little nook and I am blessed to have the time and space to create "stuff" every night.

my nook 
Decorated with my grandmother's curtains from the 1970's. 
Everyone in my extended family has dispised these for years.
But I love them. 

I'm obsessed with keeping all of my used coffee cups as a physical 
reminder of the money I've spent. It helps curb my future coffee purchases. 
Some of the time...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Today's mantra is-

Another quick project for my wall...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I need to have a daughter.

More inspirations from the BNNB Blog:

I needed a gift for twin 18 month-old girls who happen to have a dance teacher for a mother, and a vocal coach for a father. Here is what I started with:

 The skirts are inspired from a post about using men's button-up shirts to make baby skirts. I made mine more into an apron style with a ribbon drawstring. This was probably the most complicated thing I've ever sewn! I had to look up a youtube video of "how to sew a gather." Yep, I'm that technically challenged when it comes to "real" sewing.

All in all I'm very happy by the way they turned out. The insides of the skirts are a little scary looking, but we will pretend that we don't see those parts.

I altered the idea a bit by using the top of the shirt to make one skirt:

pocket detail from top of shirt

And a second skirt from the bottom of the shirt: 

The baby leg-warmers are also from the BNNB blog. I did mine in a super easy version by just cutting the sock and sewing a quick line to keep it from fraying.  I love the way that "baby leggs" look on chunky babies.

I can't wait to see the twins wearing these soon. 


Using yet another idea from the BNNB blog:

I made a simple necktie t-shirt for a one year old boy...

pretend that you didn't notice it is a tinge crooked 

... and a skirt, embellished onesie, and leg-warmers for his newborn sister.

I hope they sit still long enough for their mom to get a good photo.  

The beginning of a beautiful friendship.

I was searching online for an easy way to monogram clothing when I came across this post. Using freezer paper (which I hadn't ever heard of before) from the grocery store you can create ANYTHING to "print" onto fabric.

 I think I've found my new obsession to get me through the winter. Why have I never heard of this before? And it is so very inexpensive too. Thank you Baby Night Night Boutique blog.

Here is my first attempt at it.

I used my favorite trick of using the computer screen as a light table to trace the image:

I found it easier to cut the paper from the back (wax) side. 
Then iron onto fabric with hot iron. 

I just used regular black puff-paint for fabric. 
Let dry fully, about 30 minutes to be safe. 

Peel away once dry, and then smile at your handmade monogram. 

It isn't 100% perfect, but it is the best I've ever found. 

Buttons inspired by this post

Friday, November 5, 2010


November always reminds me of my babies. 
On November 9th we gained an angel in heaven. 

A year later, on November 27th, I woke up with a numbing tingle in my hands.
I felt so different. 
We took a post-Thanksgiving dinner walk in San Diego.
Before we could reach the end of the pier I was too exhausted to continue.
I thought maybeeee just maybeeee I could be pregnant again.
I tried to keep my excitement contained.
I told you I would wait to take a test once we were home from our trip.
The next morning I took a test and immediately saw the second line.
I ran down the hallway and jumped into bed with you, shouting "Wake up! I'm pregnant!!"
And before I knew it, my huge fatty 9.4 lb baby was born.


Meet Beatrice, the newest member of my wall family. 
She is made from the finest Goodwill reclaimed artwork available in today's market. Underneath her layers of gesso, paint, and cray-pas, sits a painting from the 1990's of a deer. Believe me, Beatrice is much nicer to look at.

The current wall: 
I've never been able to deem the drawing of my son's face as "done," so don't mind it precariously perched in the corner of the large frame. The wall is still a work in progress. But it is nice to see that I'm actually making progress.

And it is waaaaay too cold to get my camera out of the car. 
Hope you enjoy the cell phone photos in their fine 5.0 mega pixel quality. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Walking, falling, getting back up

I can still remember the day that my big brother, Ben, took his first steps. He was eleven and I was ten. He had undergone a series of leg surgeries in the years leading up to this event. By this point he was finally seeming like himself again and his legs had healed. After church one Sunday my family of six took our Burger King to the park for a picnic. Following the same routine we did each Sunday, we all piled into our brown van. I sat in the very back row next to the cup-holder full of unidentifiable sticky grey goo. While on the drive to Burger Kind my Dad would often change the lyrics from the church recessional song and instead sing, "Soon and very soon we are going to Burger King" (instead of "see the King"). Kinda not churchie etiquette, I know. 

While waiting in the long drive-thru line my Dad would continue his jokes. When we would grow impatient in the car he would explain what was happening within the fast food restaurant as our van crept forward past the greasy dumpsters. "Well kids, you see what is taking so long is first they have to grow the grass to feed the cow. Then they have to raise the cow, then they have to kill the cow, then they have to......" You get the picture. 

 When we would arrive at the park we would scarf down our food as fast as we could and then take off towards the toys. My two able-bodied siblings and I ran off towards the merry-go-round...

...and Ben followed. 

He actually only took about three steps that day but I will remember it forever. 

As time passed he became better and better at walking. He started off with a walker and then eventually he didn't need it anymore. He never totally mastered the art of walking competently so we used his wheelchair for most outings. 

From the depths of the closet: Ben's first little-baby-sized casts
artwork c/o my dad 

But over the last two months he has continued to grow weaker and weaker and is once again reduced to a chair. He can barely sit upright for five minutes before he needs to lay down again. He is suddenly a 90 year-old man. After a brief hospital stay we think that we finally have found the cause of his lack of energy. We are hoping that he will continue to heal and regain his ability to walk. 

It is so frustrating to see someone overcome something as important as walking, only to see them lose it again. I really didn't expect to ever see him like this. I'm trying not to become angry about the roller coaster his life has become. I look up to heaven and just wonder why? Why him? He can't even tell us what hurts. I know under the layers of information there will be a lesson for me inside all of this. 

There always is.

Keeping a 14 month-old entertained for five hours in a 
hospital room is an entirely different life lesson. 


cuter then a baby gnome?

How about a baby gnome feeding a baby goat?!!

Happy Fall to you.

These are a few of my prettiest things.

Current inspirations...

Yes, I'm slightly obsessed with anything aquatic. In fact I feel like a mermaid who has been out of her sea too long. Good thing I'm traveling to my ocean soon.

Photo credits: one two three four five