Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Dear Cold and Flu Season:

I am officially over you. Not that I wanted you around to begin with, but in past years you have had the decency to infect us for only a week or so. This year you have officially overstayed your welcome. Your nasty, icky, annoying germs have been plaguing us off and on since November. November! I don't even let people I like stay around that long!

Please pack up your belongings-your cough medicine, ibuprofen, thermometers, Kleenex, chicken soup, humidifiers, children's cold medicine- and vacate the premises immediately. As in right now. Your presence cannot be tolerated any longer! Because you have chosen to overstay your welcome (though, truth be told, you never were really welcome) my poor family has been stuffy, chough-y and generally feeling gross for far too long! Be gone!


Claire, Aaron and our munchkins


If only it were that easy. Too bad we can't just send an eviction notice to germs and tell them to take a hike and have them actually leave. Wouldn't that be lovely? I know we are not the only ones who have been dealing with the round robin illness this year. Lots of families we know have been perpetually sick since the fall-kids just keep infecting each other again and again in a yucky kleenex and vitamin C filled cycle. Maybe this is just normal cold and flu season and I am only feeling it extra hard this year because I have a three year old in preschool activities. Maybe I just need to get over it and accept the germs as part of my life from mid-November to March. Maybe we need to have vitamin C IVs from now on.


Sorry girls. I'm grouchy and sick again and my darling babies are finally feeling better, which I am thrilled about, but I truly do not have the energy to take care of them today. They are finally "napping". I can hear them singing in their beds, which is so stinkin' cute. I hope they fall asleep, though. Please, PUHLEEZE fall asleep little ones!

I very briefly considered calling my mom to take them for the day, but I know she'll just laugh at me and say "I had 4 kids and no family to help me and I always managed to take care of you when I was sick." It's basically her version of a "I walked uphill both ways to school in the middle of a January blizzard" story. So instead I whine to you guys about it. Aren't I nice? I swear, I'm not going to post again until I have something interesting to say.

**Blogger still won't let me add pics. Anyone else having this problem?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Dollhouse Dreams

Today I am dreaming of dollhouses. I never had one as a little girl. Not a real one anyway. I got all the furniture for Christmas one year, but we never got around to building the house to go with it and I just played with the furniture in shoeboxes, anyway, so it didn't really matter. I did always want one, though.

I have decided that for my sister's upcoming birthday I want to build a dollhouse with her. We'll do it now and by the time her birthday rolls around in March, she'll be able to take her completed dollhouse home. At first we were going to buy a dollhouse, but they are sooooo expensive (the one I want is anyway!), so Aaron and I decided to make our own from wooden boxes he'll build for us.

Noelle's House

This morning we sat down and designed the floorplans of our houses. I am ashamed to say that mine looks like a child drew it, but, hey, we can't all be good at everything, right? Sister's is a house for a little bear family, mine is a booksop on the first floor and studio apartment on the second, with a little attic. Now that the plans have been "drafted", Aaron can get to building!

My booksop. The door will be straight!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Vintage Sewing

I have just started buying vintage patterns. So far I have mostly bought little girls patterns because I hope to make my peanut girl her clothes when she is a bit older. Little girls clothes in the 50s and early 60s are so sweet! The adult patterns I intend to make some collages with and frame some for my sewing room. In my head the collages look really cute, I hope they translate as cute on paper.

The two patterns on the ends are from Amanda. Thanks, honey!

How cute are these sailor suits?? I promise not to make
one for my son. That would be awful!

I also just signed up to participate in Tie One On, which I am so excited about! I found a couple patterns I want to try and my "valentiney" fabric, so I am ready to go. I choose the cherries fabric because I didn't see any Valentine fabric at my Joann's store that wasn't cheezy. And my kitchen is done with vintage cherries and fruit, so I thought the cherry fabric would be kinda cute.

PS. All you experienced sewers out there-should I trace the vintage patterns onto new pattern tissue or should I try to use what is in the envelopes? The sizes aren't a big deal because she'll need to grow into all of them.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Open For Business!

Well, dear friends, I have opened an Etsy shop. I have played around with the idea for awhile now, but just really never had the guts to do it. Last night I finally got my act together and listed a whopping three items. I sure know how to go big, don't I? I am adding more things today and will be throughout the week. I'm counting on all of you dears to check it out for me, tell me what you think and if I should change anything. Will you do that for me? Oh thanks! I knew you would!

The shop is called Lily Claire Designs, I would have gone for Little Lovelies, but when I was researching web site domain names (because eventually I hope to have a full site all to meself!) the search engines were coming up pages for "Little Lovelies" if you know what I mean...So, I'm keeping the blog LL, but Lily Claire Designs for the shop. You know. Because that's not confusing at all.

In between the excitement of opening the shop, my mom and I took a jaunt to the Antique Mall in my neighborhood. A whopping three miles from me are about a dozen junk and antique shops. I have lived here for nearly three years and haven't been there since I was in high school.

Oh MY.

The fun that is to be had in those shops are unimaginable. As if Etsy and its wares weren't enough to make me part with my money faster than I could say "that is SO CUTE!", now I need to be tempted with the dishes and clothes and toys and fabric and jewlery and cards and photos to be had in these shops. I went in there expecting to spend, oh, $10 on vintage cards and photos and ended up spending $30 in this:

Seriously, how could I not buy the highchair when it came with such a cutie? Peanut was so proud to be in that chair, which is obvious by the grin onher face. Priceless. Of course Monkey Boy wasn't to be left out so we had to put him in it and take his picture also, but I won't bore you with the gory details. There have been alot of gratuitus kid pics around here lately, but the projects I have been working on don't photograph well as WIP. I am making a purse out of denim and, well, the pics are boring, frankly! And we can't have that, now can we?

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Brothers and Sisters (and friends)

Yesterday Stacey and I spent an hour or so taking pics of my little creations in between seperating our kiddos from each other. They are going through a phase. My monkey boy is a bit older than her little guy and he enjoys antagonizing him. Poor Aiden dosen't know what to do with himself!

Our girls were sweet as ever, I guess little sisters learn real quick to ignore their older brothers. They were probably just happy for the break in terrorism. When Monkey Boy isn't terrorizing his friends he's going at it with his sister. Mainly he "loves" too hard, but now that she is walking he likes to come up behind her and just barely nudge her. She is still pretty unsteady on her feet, so she usually tumbles to the ground and he goes giggling off to his room, because he knows that is where he'll be sent anyway. Guess I need to come up with a new punishment, huh?

Siblings are fun aren't they? In between fights and nudges and punches, my kids are the sweetest creatures. There is nothing my boy likes better than sitting snuggled on the couch watching a movie with his sister. She, being 15 mos, isn't always on board with that, but when they are it is the cutest thing.

I am looking forward to seeing how their friendship evolves over the years!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

...these are the fun things I would buy first!

Hannah The Humble Snow Girl form Polka Dot Pixie, I would beg her to make me another one and since I have a million dollars I could pay her nicely for it ;) I wouldn't be above bribery.

One of these delish cupcakes, from the Mosaic Queen at Mosaic Cottage. Of course the one I really love is sold, so I'd be bribing again!

Everything from Posie, but especially these and this and these. Oh. And these, too!

This lovely, but ridiculously overpriced umbrella from Inspire Co.

All of Hilary's darling patterns. They are a tad more advanced than my sewing skills, but I would need them anyway.

Of course there is much much more that I want, but those things can be for another day. Oh and that pic is of me and my sweetie pie little girl. I love how I'm going in to kiss her and she is looking at me like I'm nuts. Story of my life, someone is always looking at me like I'm nuts!

Have a great day everyone, keep warm and cozy!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Valentines in the making
I'm starting to feel like Valentine's Day may be a more crafty holiday than Christmas! Ok, not really, but close. I have gotten so many great ideas for fun Valentine's Day crafts and these fabrics and flosses above are for another project I have brewing in my little brain. I pulled them out a few weeks ago with th intent to use them for Valentine crafts, but just haven't done it yet. So now I am showing you the peices to the project in hopes that because I showed you, I'll go finish it. I'll let you know how that works out for me!
My poor little family is still not feeling well and now I have gotten it. Now is it just me or does it seem like bloggerland is infested with colds and flu? These people are sick right now, too. I know there are more poor suffering souls out there, but I can't find the ones I saw earlier. Try to stay warm and dry and healthy out there today!
Sorry for the short boring post, but I'm just feeling ooky and now I am gonna have to tell my poor boy that we'll have to go to Fairytale Town later in the week, instead of today. Poor guy!
Ah, well I just read on their site that the winter hours are in effect and they aren't open today anyway! Guess we aren't going until Thursday.
Before I go and tend to my ailing family I want to encourage you all to say hi! I love reading your comments and checking out your blogs if I have never seen them before, so comment away, dears!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Heart Wreaths and Fun in the Mail

The other day my package from Amanda arrived, full of the cupcake kitsch I ordered. It was so fun!! I love these little pakages and can't wait to get more. They sell out really fast, but I was lucky and managed to get one. The clincher for purchasing were the little gnome guys. I love them! And knowing my affinity for gnome culture, Amanda threw in an extra! I think his friends are happy he got to come with them. Thanks, dear!

On Thursday (yes the day he was sick) my darling husband put up 5 shelves in my craft room. 5! On his sick day! I think I won the nice husband lottery. So now I have a lovely craft room with more room to put stuff, but it is amazing how much stuff I still have!! I thought getting the shelves up would greatly reduce the clutter in there, but not so much... My name is Claire and I am a craft supply junkie.

Since I have a craft supply overflow I naturally had to make something, right? Right. So I busted out the glue gun and made some heart wreaths, of which I am quite proud. They really take what feels like forever to make, but I am soooo in love with them! I am going to add some glitter to the backs of them so that they are sparkly and fun from all sides and hang them in our windows.

I have also been thinking of opening an Etsy shop (me and everyone else, right?) and eventually a website, so there will be some on there soon. I'm thinking I can have the shop up and appropriately full of goodies by February 1, that way they might be available in time for Valentine's day. I'll keep everyone posted on my progress. Yup. I did win the husband lottery. Look at what he just handed me!

Friday, January 19, 2007

No more spaces for Swap!

Thankyou everyone!

Claire vs. The Coffeemaker

The coffeemaker and I are at an all time low. Through no fault of the coffeemaker-I'll exhonerate it right now. No. Just me and my stupidity are cause of said low. This morning I made the coffee, since Aaron is still sick. Gotta take care of my man, right? Right. So I ground up the beans, put it in the maker and go take care of the kids while it brews. A few minutes later I go back to get my hot cup of coffee and I notice a puddle on the floor.


That's weird.

I investigate further to notice that some bonehead forgot to put pot in the coffeemaker. That's right folks. I put the water in the maker and then set the pot on the counter next to me, not in the coffeemaker. When I saw it I actually thought "Crap. I can't blame this on pregnancy hormones." I did a lot of absentminded things when I was pregnant, too. At least then I had an excuse.

Today, I just have to admit my deafeat to the coffeemaker and load it up for round two. The mess was pretty stellar and impressed my three year old. Oh and one of the cleanup highlights is that when I moved the coffeemaker to the other side of the kitchen so I could wipe down the countertops, I knocked the butter dish onto the floor butter side down. Lovely.

The sad thing is that at the end of it all, I'm still only going to have a crappy cup of coffee.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Simon, you're an ass, I DO NOT look like a monkey!
Said a disgruntled American Idol cast-off. True, the guy didn't look like a monkey so much. More like Gollum from LOTR. We thought that guy's retort was particularly hilarious. Obviously we watch AI, but only until the LA episodes start. We lose interest when the train wrecks of the early auditions end. Talented folks are not nearly as entertaining and those who can't sing. I know. I should have more originality than to watch that crap. But I don't. Let me know when there is a support group for fans of bad reality tv. I might go.
On my way home yesterday I spotted a Hancock Fabrics store I haven't been to yet and stopped in. I was lucky to have come on their dollar days, so I managed to pick up two back issues of Cutting Edge magazine and some fab xmas fabric for cheap. The mags were a dollar each and the fabric 1/2 off. Coupled with ME's Home Companion, and I have quite the inspirational day ahead of me, no?
Everyone but me is sick over here, so I may take advantage of the general mellowness and get some crafting done. There are Valentines dying to be made over here! Plus, this week has been heavy on the cooking, but not so much on the crafting. Gotta change that! My pics are bad this morning, but isn't that fabric great? I'm going to make holiday pillows for next year with it.

Speaking of cooking, I promised a soup recipe today didn't I? Well, the sausage leek soup was great and super easy to make. Of course, soup is always easy to make, but you know what I mean. I even made croutons to go with it. This is definitely not a low fat recipe. Next time I might drain off more fat and add white beans. Either way it was good.

Sausage Leek Soup with Salt and Pepper Croutons

4 links of Mild or Hot Italian sausage, sliced
1 large leek, sliced
3 cloves minced garlic
2 14 oz cans of chicken broth
4 cups hot water
salt and pepper to taste

Place soup pan over medium heat and cook sausage until browned. Remove from pan and pat off excess fat (there will be plenty unless you get lean sausage) and set aside. Cook leeks and garlic in sausage fat until tender and then add sausage back to the pan. Add 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper and cover. Let cook about 15 minutes on med-low heat. Add water and broth and bring to a boil. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on med-low another 30 minutes to an hour.

Salt and Pepper Croutons
Whole Wheat bread cut into 1 inch cubes
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Shake salt and pepper over them. Bake for 5 minutes, stir the croutons then bake for 5 more minutes.
It was super easy and really good!

It was dark out, so the lighting is bad, it looked much better in person!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Yesterday was a good food day for us. Our CSA box was ready to be picked up ad we got some delicious organic fruits and veggies and a loaf of bread to enjoy this week. Naturally, us being the carbaholics we are, the bread is almost gone. But we have plenty of oranges, tangelos, lemons, leeks, salad greens etc to last us the week. The box was a teensy bit smaller than I expected, so we'll see if we can continue this. We like our veggies here. A lot. It really won't take long to blast through the box each week.

We had very limited time for dinner last night and then we had to rush out to a church thing, so I made sandwiches for us with the bread and salad greens and some salami I had here. It. Was. So. GOOD. Good bread makes me very happy. :)
I also baked like mad while the kids napped and made both the kinds of scones I set out to make. They are good, but I can never tell if I make them right. The scones my aunt makes are buttery and full of nuts and raisins and just soooo good. These weren't very buttery, and I put the amount of cranberries the recipe called for in, but they definitely need more. I like me some cranberries! I would have put nuts in them too, Aaron is anti-nut in baked goods, which is really too bad because they are so yum! Regular scone makers: are they supposed to have a buscuit-like quality?

At any rate, yesterday was full of good food and today will be too. I'm making sausage and leek soup. No recipe. Just goin' fer it. If it turns out good I'll post what I put in it, but I doubt I'll know quantities. So much for me being a chef.

Have a lovely day, darlings! Don't forget to sign up for the swap.There are about 10 of us now and I am SO excited about it. You ladies are all amazing! This swap is also open to people who have never swapped before, so feel free to let us introduce you to the addictive fun that is swapping.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My Email is out of hiding...

Some folks pointed out that it was reeeaaaallly hard to find my email in the original Swap post, so I fixed it, by putting it in bold for ya all to see! I had a hard time finding it, too and was beginning to think I was crazy, but it was there being all modest and stuff. Silly email.

So now go sign up! It's going to be really fun and some amazingly talented ladies have signed up, so you should too!

I like Cupcakes and I'm Weird

So, once again I didn't make it thrifting and as sad as that is, I'm ok with it. I had a nice long brunch with some friends at Tower Cafe, yum yum! While there, my girlfriend gave me my xmas gift-a cupcake cookbook. The recipes are crazy good sounding-Sticky Fig Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Sauce, Butter Almond Teacakes, Fruity Nutty Harvest Cupcakes. Mmmmm. Who wants to come over for a cupcake party? Be here at noon. We'll skip lunch and have tea and cupcakes instead. My friend jokingly said she expects Aaron to bring her different cupcakes each week while I cook through the recipes. They work in the same building, so it makes it easy for me to send her treats through him, which is kind of fun. She was kidding, but I might just do it! Should I start with Coconut Snowball Cupcakes or Peanut butter Cupcakes with a Milk Chocolate glaze...

Really what I need to be baking today are scones and muffins. We have an unhealthy addiction to Starbucks and their baked goods. To combat that, I have found two (one, two) really yummy sounding scone recipes to try and I'll try to squeeze time to make our favorite muffins. Usually I make the muffins in big tins, but I think today I am going to go for mini muffins. I also add shredded carrots and raisins. Perfect for tea parties, no?

Before I go bake, I have been tagged by Amanda to tell you 6 weird things about me. Basically I am just weird by nature, but really, aren't we all. When I tell me husband that he is weird he always responds with "No, hon, I'm cute and endearing!" So I'm to tell you 6 "cute and endearing" ie. weird things about me...

1. Like Amanda, I can control my dreams a bit. Usually the only ones I can control are the nightmares. Once I figure out that it is a dream I can usually yet at whatever is scaring me or otherwise harming me and wake myself up. It's quite handy, actually. Especially since when I am pregnant I am quite prone to nightmares. I guess that can be weird thing number 2.

2. When I am pregnant I am quite prone to nightmares. Usually the "my husband doesn't love me anymore" variety. I like my husband an awful lot, so when I dream that he is telling me he doesn't love me, it is pretty scary. Especially when I am pregnant. There are plenty of mornings when I have woken up mad at him. Poor guy! I'm not PG right now, so I haven't had those dreams in awhile.

3. I don't know what I want to be when I grow up. When I was in college I changed my major 7 times and ultimately never finished because I still don't know. I have a good idea that when I do go back I'll go for an art degree of some kind, but now isn't the time for that. Someday.

4. I can't make coffee. If I go near the coffee maker it is guaranteed the coffee will suck. I read the directions, I improvise, I follow someone else's directions and it never fails. The coffee sucks. But that is OK, Aaron makes great coffee and I have no problem letting him make coffee perpetually.

5. I think Back to the Future Christopher Lloyd is cute. Not cute, like I wanna make out with him cute, but he's a smart funny old man cute. Hmm. That really is weird. I told my husband and our best friends this last night and the room exploded into laughter and "Oh my gosh you are soooo weird!" Well, duh people.

6. I didn't get my drivers license until I was 18, almost 19. And if I hadn't gone to college 20 mins away I probably would have used public transportation (which I actually enjoyed taking, that's weird, too) forever. Because CSUS was 20 mins from my house by car, it was about 2 hours from my house on RT and that just didn't fly with me, the non morning person!

Ok, there are 6 of my weird traits. I could probably do this a bazillion more times and not get all my weirdness out. Hey, that's what makes me so cute and endearing, right? So now, I am supposed to tag a bunch of people, huh? Kay, I tag Kate, Carolyn and Beki. It's quite alright if you don't want to do it, it totally won't bother me! ;)

Oh, and don't forget to sign up for the swap! Everyone is welcome!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Let's Get Our Swap On!

Allright, girls! It is time to do a Brooch Swap! If you would like to participate pease email me at lily_clairedesigns at yahoo dot com. Here are the terms of the swap:

-email me with your name, your blog, if you have one, and the email you would like your partner to contact you at, by Friday, January 19. At that time the swap will be closed and there will be no more participants.

-Please make one brooch for your partner from any medium, fabric, felt, beads, buttons. Just be creative! You may purchase a vintage brooch if you would rather not craft one.

-If you would like to add other goodies to your swap feel free! Chocolates, craft supplies, candies, anything fun you think your partner might like from your stash or things you bought. But you are not required to do this! It's just fun sometimes.

-Swaps need to be mailed to your partners by February 5th. Once you get your swap let your partner know it was recieved via thier blog and feel free to post pictures on your blog. I'll set up a flickr group once we get closer to the swap date.

-I will notify you via email on Saturday or Sunday who your swap partner is.

Thanks for playing! This should be a lot of fun!

Chocolate Party

Yesterday we got an invitation to a Chocolate Party, which to me, sounds like the best idea ever! Who wouldn't want to go to a chocolate themed party? It is a birthday party for a friend of ours and I am excited to get a fun present together for her. I already made her these criss cross coasters in chocolate brown and green (I must have known!) the other day, so now I am going to go find her some fun chocolatey gifts to go with them. Chocolate tea, coffee, gourmet chocolate powders, Whole Foods here I come!

Next to having people over I love giving gifts, best. I love picking out the perfect present for people, or putting together a fun box or basket of goodies. That is probably why I love swaps so much. Half the fun of doing them is putting the packages together! Naturally the other half of swapping is getting your package in return. Sadly, my last three Swap-Bot swaps my partners were no-sends. So sad! I've had to bid farewell to swap-bot becuase of it. Now I just do blog swaps and hopefully they will have more success. I know they will because you all are so nice!

Now, that being said, I think I will do a brooch swap, but I'll need to do another post to put all the rules and fun stuff in it. I'll do that later today. We'll have sign ups this week for it and then send our creations early February. If it goes well maybe we can do it monthly or bi-monthly, with themes etc. We'll see how the first one goes, but I'm sure it will go great!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Sunday, Funday

I love having dinner guests. I love planning what we are going to have for dinner and what we will do. Sometimes we play games, sometimes we talk, always we have fun. Tonight we are having my brother and his wife and some friends and their kids for dinner. I'm making pot roast with carrots, onions and potatoes, and chocolate chip cookies for dessert. Simple, relaxing, cozy food. Just chop up the veggies, sear the meat and let it all hang out for a few hours in a hot oven. I think it is the kind of meal everyone will enjoy, kids and adults, alike.

While I wait for our guests to arrive I'm sitting here making a little list of things I'd like to be able to do tomorrow. Aaron works for the state so he gets the day off, which is a nice little treat. I'd love to be able to thrift in the morning, come home make lunch for my family (or better yet eat a lunch made by my husband!), maybe clean out the garage (ha!), bake a little, craft in the afternoon and go to bed early. It might be a perfect day!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Favorite Things

I made this dish in kindergarten and it has always been one of my favorite things. It has survived 4 moves, three brothers (though one wrote his name on it, trying to say he made it. Guess he was too young to realize my name was carved into it). I remember the day I made it in afternoon kindergarten at Carman Trails Elementary School in Missouri, where we lived at the time. I remember feeling so excited that I got to make that little circle of clay into whatever I wanted. There were pencils, bottle caps, paperclips and combs to aid us in our decorating. We pushed them into the clay to leave an imprint.

We only had art once a week so making these clay creations was quite a process. One week we molded and decorated the next we glazed. I don't recall if picking out a color was as exciting to me as forming the dish itself (probably not seeing as I can't remember) but it is no surprise that I choose blue. Sky blue was always my favorite color until about five years ago when it was dethroned by red and yellow. Poor blue! I still love you!

I wish you all a restful Saturday. We need to go to Costco today, clean the garage and I hoping sometime today I can have a few hours to myself to thrift. A girl can hope, right? Happy Saturday!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Flowery Pins

This stack of yummy fabrics became pins yesterday. Well, almost. I still need to add leaves to them, but mostly they are done.

I like to use them as gift toppers on presents and the recipient gets to have an extra goodie. They are also great on purses and denim jackets. Or any jacket, really. I like having them for swaps, too. I did a brooch swap on Swap Bot that was so fun. People made such creative brooches! I'm done with Swap Bot (too many no sends) but maybe I'll host a swap on here...Would you all be interested in a handmade Brooch Swap? A girl can't have too many brooches, right? If you think I should host one drop me a line and let me know you are interested.

Also, don't forget to de-lurk! Say hi! I might even extend my de-lurking week into next week and have a giveaway at the end of next week...hmmm there's an idea...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

de-lurking week

de-lurking week
Originally uploaded by blackbird.
I found this on good 'ol flickr and thought I, too, would jump on the de-lurking bandwagon. So say Hi if you wanna!
Mornings. Grrr

I am not a morning person. I like to stay up really late and sleep in late and wake up at 10 am. I am a mom, so that dosen't happen anymore and probably won't for another ten years. And who knows, by then the gravitational pull of the Earth may have changed resulting in me becoming a morning person. But don't count on it. It's not that I don't want to like mornings, I really do. The day is new and young and pretty. I like watching the sun flood into our living room and brighten the house. Somehow, even on days that are overcast, the sun seems to manage to visit just for a little while.

But mornings are also full of "Moooooommmaaaa! I huuuuunnnngry! I wannnnnaaa eaaaat" or "Mommamommamommamommamommamomma. I'm huuuuungry!" While these pleas for foood are cute (sort of) at 11 o'clock at night there is magically none of that. No kiddies underfoot, no cries for milk, or snacks or diaper changes, or he/she hit me. No whining, no slobber, no oatmeal stuck in your hair.

Just peace and quiet. Me and my honey getting some precious kid-free hours. Priceless time for us to hang out and be together (or get sucked into flickr) and reconnect. All of this coupled with a regular 12-12:30 am bedtime are what makes me not a morning person. I think I really do look forward to the day that I don't need the nighttime solitude and can truly appreciate and enjoy the mornings.

For now I will leave you with a scene from my life. Breakfast at my house, notice the kids have to be completely across the room from one another otherwise chaos ensues. Or rather, more chaos. Also, try not to notice our boring kitchen which will be remodeled next month, yippee!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I Have Found a New Time Suck

Time suck is a term coined by my husband for any activity where you completely lose all sense of time. Last night I got sucked into the black hole that is flickr. Anyone else done that? I spent hours uploading pictures and searching for groups of likeminded thrifters, crafters, and collectors. It was great to dust off my collection of children's books from my childhood and my mothers childhood and have someplace to showcase them. Aaron doesn't quite get my penchant towards collecting things, and really couldn't get his mind around flickr either. If I used it as a photo-sharing tool with family he'd get it, but I use another site for that, so flickr is strictly fun for me. If any readers here are on flickr leave me a comment with your flickr name, I'd love to check out your pictures! I'm on flickr as littlelovelies, and I'd welcome your comments on any of my pictures.

I'm off to make some felt needlebooks, which I'll show you as soon as I'm done. I was in my craft room all day yesterday sewing little brooches. There will be oodles to show you tomorrow if I manage to keep off of flickr!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A Girly Chandelier

One of the chandeliers I made yesterday was destined for my friend's daughter. Stacey was kind enough to take pictures of it and send them to me so I could post them. Her pictures are so much better than mine!


Embroidered Euro Shams for our bedroom. These are going to be flowers when all is said and done. I'm not using a pattern, just going for it. I like the random, organic feel of these flowers. I'll add stems and leaves, and centers to them later.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Crafty Day

I had a lovely crafty day yesterday just as I wanted. I didn't do as much as I would have liked, kids being underfoot and all, but once they were in bed, the glue gun came out and the real fun started. What is it about glue guns that make me want to glue everything in sight? I had to really restrain myself after I finished my Valentines. I made a few buttony Valentines to send to friends who have inspired me or that I just really love. I only made a few yesterday, there are many more to be made. I didn't realise how many buttons each would take, so I'll be trolling ebay for more soon. After I was done with those, I just wasn't ready to put the gun down, so I made a bunch of snowman and fruit cards to use as thank you cards for the Christmas love we had.

Now. I also made some ribbony chandeliers and I must warn you, they aren't as grand as they sound. Once the sweet people who commented yesterday said they were interested in seeing them I had a little performance anxiety and I feel like they will be disappointed. So here are the chandeliers, photographed in our messy winter backyard. They don't photograph that well, but I'm told they are adorable and friends ask me for them, so they really must be cute, right? OK. just look at the pic and judge for yourself. I can't keep backpedaling about why you might be disappointed. The picture really doesn't do them justice. Little girls see them and beg me for them!

Ugh. I need to clean the backyard.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Wrong Side of the Bed...

I'm grumpy this morning. I don't know if it was a lack of sleep, too much party fun to clean up today, or a feeling of sad commiseration with dear Posey, but I am grouchy, grumpy and on my way to a very bad day if I don't bust out of my funk. I think a serious crafting day is in order. Some crochet flowers, embroidery, ribbony chandeliers are in order. What are ribbony chandeliers, you ask? I'll show you tomorrow after I have made a few. But for now I'm going to enjoy my coffee, my cupcake and survey the disaster around me.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

It's Party Day!

This morning when we woke up we were treated to an excited three year old's cries of "Train caaaake! Mooooomma thank you!!!" as monkey boy went into the kitchen and saw his cake decked out for his party tonight. He immediatly ran back to our room to give us kisses and hugs and talk in an excited three year old stream about his party, trains, birthdays and cake.

We celebrated a bit on Thursday with our dinner out, but today was the real party day. We started out by going to breakfast at a local pancake house called Pancake Circus. Pancake Circus deserves it's own post and lots of pics dedicated to it, but that is for another day, today is about the party. *I just found the link and review of the Circus and I don't think I could put it any better than she did, but I will post more pics sometime. The place is a serious trip!* We had our huge pancake breakfast and came home to decorate for our train party. Our little guy is never without a train or two nearby, so naturally when I wanted to use his toy trains to decorate for his party there wasn't a one to be found. We managed to make do, get the house ready, the food made and out to the Railroad Museum on time.

We spent a lovely afternoon admiring trains and talking to the old men who spend their time volunteering at the museum. Everytime we go I meet a new nice old retired train worker and everytime I go I notice they are getting older and older. Soon these gems are going to be gone, these guys who spent their youth traveling the country by railroad, working it and loving it. Why is it that railroad travel is so romantic? Probably because no one does it anymore, so it has a charm that plane or car travel just doesn't have.

My great grandfather worked the railroad and though I never met him, my grandma would tell us kids about growing up in the Sierras in a railroading town. At one time there was an exhibit in the museum based on a photograph taken of the railroad in the 30's. In the photograph there was a small house, a shack almost, on the side of the mountain and my grandma would point to it and say, that was our house! That was always the highlight of our visit, "look for grandma's house!" Now, 20 years later, the exhibit is gone, but I still feel like a kid again looking at the giant peices of machinery.

While we were there, taking a break from the trains, our Little Peanut girl decided to make it official that she can walk! She has been walking on secret for a few weeks now, sitting down as soon as someone looks her direction. But today with all our family and friends close by she decided that she would prove that she could walk with the rest of us. She must have known that today wasn't about her and needed to prove herself. ;)

All in all we had a pretty special day and I think that our guy had a great time. We might even have to go back for his birthday next year!

Friday, January 05, 2007

A Birthday, a Momiversary and a Dinner to celebrate it all...

Look at that face! That little face turned three today. Last night we took him to our favorite restaurant, the Tower Cafe for dinner and dessert. My aunt is the pastry chef there, which probably plays a role in why that place is our favorite. The food is great, but the desserts are amazing, and I really don't think I am being biased because I even like the desserts that aren't her recipes.

Well, when we got there, we were lucky enough to catch Lou before she was heading out for the night and she joined us for dinner. My monkey boy was so excited to Auntie Lou with us and even made me move so she could sit with him (which made her day). We had a lovely dinner (Texan Skirt Steak, Jamaican Jerk Chicken, three different desserts...) and enjoyed our little celebration.
Some of Lou's yummy concoctions in this snap above. She has been noticed by a local artist Kathrine Lemke Waste. Katherine paints desserts and has asked my aunt if she could paint some. Wouldn't that lemon tart be an amazing painting? Yum! If you ever find yourself in Sacramento, be sure to check out Tower Cafe and maybe take in a movie at the adjoining Tower Theatre.

So today being monkey's birthday also marks a very special day for's my Momiversary (and Dadiversary for A)! The three year anniversary of becoming a mommy! The last three years couldn't have gone by any faster or been any more fun. This little boy has made Aaron and me so happy (and frustrated and mad...) and was the first link to completing our family. He showed up 3 1/2 weeks early when we were completely unprepared. I thought first time moms always had their babies late, so I figured I could pack my bag later.

But, no. MB wanted to be part of the show early and while standing in church I felt my water break. Nothing like breaking your water in a public place! It was pretty funny because I scurried out to see what was what and a few people saw me leave and then a few minutes later saw someone come back to get Aaron and him jump up, grab our stuff and run out. 12 hours later almost to the minute we greeted our baby boy. That day was definitely one of the happiest days of our lives!

Our Monkey is an amazing little guy. He is the most encouraging kid. He will tell us "Good Job, Mom. Good Job, Dad" for the most mundane tasks like buckling him into is car seat, making toast, changing sisters diaper...Last week he was thoughtfully sitting on the couch and he turned to me and said, "Momma, thanks for buying food." Well, OK! He tells me that my clothes are nice and that I am pretty and beautiful. He tells us that dinner is "delicious" and sometimes "disgusting". He loves his little sister and in the morning if she cries we'll hear him saying to her "What's wrong little peanut girl? Don't cry!" Lately he has noticed every bump, scratch, cut on him body and thinks he'd going to die. Just this morning he came to me and showed me the palm of his hand and declared "My arm is broken" very seriously. Life with this kid is never boring and almost always fun!

Happy Birthday!!