Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Big meanies

It's my fault for being soft, but this morning I was reduced to tears (for the second time this week!) by rudeness.  I can often shrug it off, but it's gotten to critical mass lately and I'm feeling all done with other people's bad behaviour.  Crying doesn't make me feel better, though, so next time, I'm going to hum this little tune.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

And, bing! It's Spring!

Five months of winter, folks.  Five!  The first snow was mid-November, and the last (we hope!) was a week ago today (stupid cold snap killed the gorgeous magnolia tree about to bloom out back--boo!).  I had the wood stove going as the flakes fell and the temperature hovered around 30°F.  So crazy for so long!  But now, ba-da-bing!  Spring!

Just in time for Earth Day!
Today, we'll be dodging the raindrops and occasional thundering skies, but we are so happy it's finally Spring!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Crazy chicken lady

Just to prove I still own my Crazy Chicken Lady status, I gave Sheila a bath this weekend.  I hope she won't be too embarrassed when I announce on the internet that her butt was rather poopy.  It needed a good clean, and it was too hard for her to do on her own.  Hubby shook his head at my crazy, but he did help hold her down when I needed an extra pair of hands.

He drew the line at helping blow-dry her feathers.  Apparently, there's crazy, and then there's just plain nuts.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A day in our nation's capitol

Hi friends!  Did you enjoy your weekend?  Did the Easter bunny find your house?

We drove to visit family in Northern Virginia, and we spent a fun, full day in Washington DC.  I am a dedicated Metro rider, but Hubby insisted we drive in and park the car so we could bring the girls' scooters.  I (loudly) questioned his judgment as we circled for nearly 30 minutes looking for a parking spot, but a very chance moment landed us a spot and from then on, I had to admit he was right.  Having those scooters kept us going far longer than the girls would have lasted without them.

We parked near Printing and Engraving, went around the Washington Monument, waved to the White House, meandered through the World War II Memorial, snacked along the Reflecting Pool, and finally rested at the Lincoln Memorial, where the girls used the huge steps as a fabulous climbing frame, scampering up and down like monkeys while their mama fretted they would fall and crack their bones on the marble (I was overruled).  Whew!  From there, we scooted over to Georgetown for lunch.  On the way, Obama passed overhead in his helicopter (with escort-copter).  Stephanie insisted that he saw and waved to her because he knows he is her favourite president.  To my great surprise, we made it all the way back to the car again without catching a taxi.  I get tired just thinking about all that time and distance on foot with two kids, but it was a great day!

We had hoped to see the Cherry Blossoms, but alas, they were almost completely gone.  We missed them by one week.  Fortunately, we found three trees still in bloom behind the Kennedy Center, so we did enjoy a small glimpse of what must have been a spectacular sight.

Did you get up to anything fun this weekend?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Director of Operations

I had seen a link to this video floating around on Facebook in recent days, but I wasn't overly motivated to open it until a particular friend shared it.  She finds the good stuff, so I decided to watch.  Curious?

I so needed this today!
Yesterday, my Junior Associate had a minor chest cold, keeping her away from her usual workplace and colleagues (kindergarten) and thus with me, active but insistent upon constant interaction.  I did take a 1.5 hour break in the late evening after the Junior Associate had gone to bed, but she awoke within minutes of me settling into my own bed.  Her cough disturbed her sleep, and then she couldn't get back to sleep once it subsided.  She felt that the silence of the night provided an excellent opportunity for me to improve my oral presentation skills (i.e., read her chapter books) until I could no longer function.  At 2am, Hubby was booted to the guest room so my Junior Associate could monitor my attempts to sleep from the next pillow, ensuring a very short night.  This morning was a prolonged attempt to suppress an epic meltdown (mine) while the Slightly-More-Senior Associate refused to be a team player during morning routines.  Slightly-More-Senior Associate is now active in her workplace (3rd grade), and I am again at the mercy of my Junior Associate, who no longer has much of a chest cold and is ready for another full day of interaction.
Director of Operations indeed.
I'm brewing some coffee and heading into another (blessed) day on the job!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Down the sewing rabbit hole

Once I have sewing on the brain, inspiration comes from everywhere.  This past weekend, I popped into a local (expensive!) boutique to browse just for kicks, and I spied a dress I cannot forget.  It was a little black dress with a very simple shape, but it wasn't pure black.  There were little spots of colour all over it.  Up close, I could see the fabric was a digital photography print of distant galaxies.  I loved it!  I can't stop thinking about that fabric.  My daughter loves space.  How much would she love a dress in fabric like that?!

This morning, I remembered Spoonflower, a site where you can design your own fabric…and look what I found:

Star Field

That is the fabric!  Awesome, no?  It gets better.  I also found these:


Eagle Nebula

Purple Space Stars

Talk about inspiration!  I want to sew a space wardrobe for my girl!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

KCW Days 2 + 3

I need to get sewing.  I got so lost in inspiration that no sewing has happened!  After reading a few posts from awesome sewists, I want to change it all.  I want new patterns, new fabrics, a different approach!  Crazy.  Nothing like a little sewing ADD to hold me up.  Silly, because when I actually started, the work resulted in this:

How cute is that?!

This is the Suzanne in tunic length, size 6.  I bought the fabric a couple of years ago when I had grand (naive) intentions of sewing most of my girls' clothing (and have a fabric stash to back that up).  Alas, kids grow, and they grow quickly.  The cuts in that stash are on the verge of not being quite long enough for their ever-lengthening torsos.  Thankfully, I planned for dresses, so I can still make tops.  Whew.

I have yet to try this on my little monkey girl, so the jury is still out on the width of this pattern.  It is my only sticking point, and I'm still not convinced.  That neck just seems too wide.  I assumed in previous attempts that I had misinterpreted the pattern (in French, which I do not speak), so I splurged and bought an English version...and don't you know I didn't need it.  Apparently, I was following it just fine on a wing and a prayer.  That placket piece is just a bit too wide in my opinion (unless you layer something under the top/dress).  I made space to feed elastic along the shoulders if needed, but I may have to take it in and then trim the others accordingly before I start to sew.  I'll let you know.

Update: She likes the width, and it looks so adorable on her!  I did run elastic through the shoulder casings to pull it up a bit (maybe by an 1" or so).  Definitely recommend the elastic.

Monday, April 7, 2014

KCW Day One

Today is the first day of Kids Clothes Week, the quarterly challenge to sew (or prep to sew) clothes for children at least one hour per day all week.  The theme is "Mini Me", and I'm excited about the idea of new spring clothes for myself and the girls!  After getting the challenge off to my traditional start--wasting copious amounts of time on the internet in the name of inspiration--I dug right in.  First up, Citronille's Suzanne for each of us, and one for a friend too!  Aim high, I say.  The patterns are cut, the fabric is washed and ironed, and the last fabric pieces were cut this morning.  Now, I just need to get sewing!

Before I get started, I have to sing the praises of this gorgeous fabric.

The design--from the Briar Rose series by Heather Ross--is so darling that I took a leap of faith, ordering it online, envisaging a fun little top or dress for my 6 year old.  What a wonderful surprise to find that the fabric quality is absolutely beautiful!  It might be the nicest quilting cotton I've had my hands on.  It is so soft and drapes rather beautifully.  My hands want to make it into a delicate blouse with ruffly shoulders, which seems rather silly since it is, after all, covered in picnicking frogs.  I will use it for a simple Suzanne dress for our friend.  Such a tactile pleasure.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Have a wonderful weekend!

How was your weekend?  I've been taking a walk down Memory Lane, scrolling through our digital photos stored on my computer.  The machine is close to implosion under the burden of the 25,000+ pictures I have kept (ahem).  Time to delete a few, perhaps?  I seem to have finally reached enough emotional distance from those baby years that I can cull the countless images a bit (a wee bit).  So far, I've only made it through June 2007.  This picture was taken in Cinque Terre, Italy, the day after our friends' wedding there (Hubby and my big girl are bottom right--she's the wee one in the pink sunsuit) Awww.

Here's a little link list.  I hope you discover something fun.  Happy weekend to you!

Just finished reading this book, right after reading this one.  Neither was what I expected.

Warning: this 30-minute (or less, really) meal produces strong cravings and delicious foodie satisfaction.  We've made it twice in two weeks.

Although I haven't blogged about it in a while, my knitting needles have been happily busy.  At the moment, I'm working on a Milo vest for a special friend of ours Down Under…and maybe one for her brother too.

Gearing up for KCW.  Are you in?

Do you watch Call the Midwife?  Season 3 started up last week!  Watching this makes me want to become a midwife.  I also want Chummy to be my friend.

Have you seen the latest ad from HoneyMaid about wholesome families?
The company's response to the hate mail this ad provoked is even better.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

No spring chicken

The great news is my little one rode her big girl bike without training wheels all the way to school and back this morning for the first time without any trouble.

The not-so-great news is I didn't achieve the same.  I rode along on Hubby's grown-up scooter.  When I lifted one hand to gesture a driver to hold up, I survived a spectacular wipe-out in the school parking lot, ripping my favourite blouse, my elbow and greatly bruising my right leg and knee.  I hopped up and shrugged it off for the kids, but I admit I'm rather stiff and sore now.

Lesson: both hands required for scooter balance.  Demonstration provided free of charge.