Friday, February 21, 2014

The Gap

An incredible video about the gap between taste and ability and the encouragement we need to push through until the two meet.  Happy weekend, y'all!

THE GAP by Ira Glass from frohlocke on Vimeo.

found via One Claire Day

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Dry ice is cool

What you see here is the end of the day fun with dry ice leftover from school experiments.  Our big girl gave a fantastic report in her science class and used dry ice to demonstrate condensation and--more memorably--the fact that fog is captured inside the bubbles when you add dish soap to the warm water.  Her classmates went crazy for this fun fact, as did our wee girl's class when we showed them too.  We played with dry ice at a friend's house in the afternoon, and we had to bring it out again at home before bed.  Silly me didn't think to record the hilarity until kiddos were almost out of steam themselves, but ooo, dry ice is fun!  We bought ours at Butler Gas in McKees Rocks; it was less than $25 for 10 lbs (the minimum sold).  Worth every penny.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

In the glitterauge

The Krewe of Muses rolls in just over one week!  Nothing like a deadline to prompt temporary conversion of the dining table to the glitterauge.  Three more pairs of boots are freshly spray-painted outside.  One week is plenty of time to make them parade-fabulous, yes?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Early morning visitors

I looked up and saw we had early visitors to the bird feeders this morning.  We often leave out corn for them, but it must be buried beneath the fresh snow.
Good morning.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Cashmere for kids

Cashmere for kids, also known as "I did something unthinkable and came up with something awesome".

It's a bit redundant to say this winter has been rather cold.  My girls need good, warm sweaters to wear, which has sent me back up on my soapbox about the quality and materials in children's clothing.  Kids' sweaters are all about synthetic fibers and weird chemical treatments.  Even expensive brands are typically cotton at best.  Where is the warmth?  Don't kids deserve comfort (and no extra chemicals)?  Grrr.

Calm down, step off the soapbox and get creative.

I knit my girls two beautiful sweaters with thick, cozy wool of their choice.  They were thrilled to received them…but do not wear them.  Sigh.  What to do?

There is a solution, and it lies at the thrift store.

I scoured the ladies' department for large or extra-large cashmere sweaters*.  I looked for a basic sweater, no cables, no embellishments. V-necks won't do; for this, you want round-neck or a turtle-neck styles.  It took some digging, but I found a few (outdated and boring) sweaters in suitable colours.  They had tiny holes, which is no problem, because you are going to do the unthinkable: you are going to wash them in the washing machine in hot water with soap and then run them through the dryer!  Yes, you are going to felt these beauties!  Shock?!  Horror?!  Genius?!

When I pulled these two sweaters from the dryer, these large ladies' sweaters fit my girls like a glove.  The cashmere content ensured that the sweaters felt absolutely heavenly.  The felting ensured serious warmth, with the big benefits that the little holes don't matter and any kid wear-and-tear can be tackled with another run through the washing machine.  My girls love them and wear them all the time!  Yes, my children are dressed in cashmere…and their sweaters cost me $8 each.

Note:  I'm pretty sure the blue sweater was a cashmere blend.  It didn't have a label, so I'm not sure.  It is very soft, but it felted much tighter than the pink one (which was labeled 100% cashmere), pills like crazy and seems to shrink up again every time we wash it.  My girl doesn't mind at all, but for this,
100% cashmere is best.

*if your kids are under the age of 5, medium size will probably work

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Dance away those winter blues

NPR recently asked listeners to write in with songs that help overcome cabin fever.  They compiled a playlist of over 80 songs and shared it on Spotify.  If you haven't listened to Spotify before, it's perfect for this.  You can make playlists of any songs in their catalog and share them with friends.  You can skip around in the list, repeating what you like, skipping over what you don't, just like the good old days of making tapes for your friends.  You can't download, but you can stream anywhere you have internet access.  This NPR list was my first reason to sign up for Spotify (it's free), and I'm loving the variety!  The girls and I had serious dance party fun yesterday and again this morning.  Since this winter doesn't seem to have any intention of letting up any time soon, I thought you might enjoy the playlist too.  Hang in there!  Spring has to be coming at some point!

p.s.  there's another NPR compiled list of songs to get you through the winter, less wild than the cabin fever list, and yes, very good too

Olympics and motherhood

The Olympics are underway!  Without a TV, I admit we aren't seeing much, but it's still pretty exciting.  Before they even began, I stumbled across this commercial online.  P&G have designed a gorgeous, powerful commercial aimed at moms, and wow.  Hubby feels it too.  The kids insist we watch it repeatedly, most probably because they are fascinated with how it makes me teary every single time.  Enjoy.


Monday, February 10, 2014

No-sew valentines bags

Valentine's Day is this Friday!  Hubby and I don't typically celebrate, but the girls do!  Their school ensures that Valentine's Day means valentines for each member of the class, and a box or bag to carry them all home is required in advance.  I spied this adorable project a few weeks ago, but it took me until today to actually make it.  Thank goodness I did, because the girls love them…and they are due in the classroom no later than tomorrow.

The project directions are in the link.  For each bag, you will need a cereal box, felt, ribbon and copious amounts of glue.  I used a hot glue gun for speed, but a good craft glue like Aleene's would work well if you have the time.

In case you are searching for homemade valentine ideas, we shamelessly borrowed from DesignMom, making the lollipop photo cards and the animal cards.  There are quite a lot of great ideas for different kid ages and interests shown on her sidebar.  Other creative card ideas can be found on inchmark.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Milo for Mia

Our little cousin Mia turned five recently, which seemed the perfect occasion to break out the needles and knit up a Milo vest.  I have intended to return to this pattern since I made my first one a few years ago, but somehow I haven't actually worked it again until now.  It should have.  Milo is a fabulous, simple pattern and an awesome way to try cables.  These hearts were my first-ever cables, and I don't know why I feared them for so long.  They were no trouble at all!  Alas, they don't show up very well, but the love is there whether you see the hearts or not.

project raveled here