Friday, August 31, 2007

I finished a new apron to put in the shop. It is really fun to wear with its layers of ruffles. It is there now along with the little witch and some of her friends; of the fairy and birdy sort. I will be having a grand-opening give-away announcement tomorrow so come on back and enter!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Big boy walking!!!

Okay, this post is for the grandparents(and anyone who wants to see somebody really cute). So look at this picture and blink your eyes really fast. Add some giggling and a lot of cheer and you get a pretty good idea what it has been like around here since yesterday when our little man finally decided to go for it and give walking a serious try. And are we talking about a tentative little step or two? Oh no, he went for at least 6 or 7 steps and just wants to keep going. Part of me is cheering and part of me is so sad. My little guy is getting big too fast, just like his brother and sister. Pretty soon I will have to stop calling him my baby. And we will be so sad not to see his hysterical crawl anymore. It really is the funniest thing you have ever seen, a cross between a crab and a chimpanzee. Well, watch out world here come Joshua!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"I'm a mean old witch with a hat..."

Okay, maybe not very mean, quite sweet actually. I finished these two little witches this afternoon and just had to show you all! I am quite proud of their hats, made them up myself. They have three other sisters that are awaiting hats, another orangey one and a couple who have just a touch of pink. They will all be in the re-opening of the shop on Saturday September 1st. I think there will be a drawing on Monday to celebrate. I will have these little witches, little birds and a couple of fairies for sure. I am hoping to maybe get a couple of aprons in there but we will see. We have birthday to celebrate soon that needs a little attention. Hope your day is be-witchingly great!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I am so excited about this!

Victoria is coming back! I loved this magazine, it is the only magazine I have kept all my back copies of and I still get them out and thumb through occasionally. And hey, I love the name, almost named Brittany Victoria. You can go here and sign up for a trial copy. They will send you one and then you can either write cancel on the bill or subscribe. Hurray for Victoria!

Monday, August 27, 2007

First day of School!
Yeah! It finally came! The first day of school and the mom was definitely the most excited of all. Look at those cute faces though, I just can't believe I have a kindergartner and a third grader. If I didn't have Joshua to stay home with me and be my baby I would definitely been in tears all morning. They went merrily on their way and had a good day all around I think. I wish I could jump in and wave my magic wand and create instant best friends for them, but I think time will take care of that. It really was nice to get back in a routine today, hope it lasts. It did make me think about the first days of school that I remember. The nervous, excited tummy feeling. All those great new school supplies. That strange feeling of wearing long pants after wearing shorts all summer. That great, exciting feeling of a whole new year of things to learn. I remember that feeling clear up through college. Sometimes it didn' t last longer than the first day, but it was a great feeling while it lasted!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Let's talk books!

I haven't posted about any books in awhile. Does that mean we haven't been reading? Absolutely not! My latest three books have just been such an odd combination that they seemed weird to talk about together but I have decided they do have a common thread that I will tell you in a minute. First, Harry Potter! I feel a bit behind the crowd by about a month, but we waited to get it from our library and then I had to share it with my eight year old. Yup, you read right, my eight year old just finished a 748 page book! And I did not read 95% of it to her. Now the funny part is that when the first Harry Potter came out I thought to myself, "I would never let my child read that until they were at least 11 or 12." Why do I think these things, it is worse when I actually say them out loud. Because invariably I turn around and do them. So yes, she did read this book with scary stuff, bad magic, people dying and evil. But I stayed ahead of her a couple of chapters and we had some really good discussions, it was sort of our own mommy/daughter book club. And the book? Soooooo good! I know, you haven't heard anybody say anything different, but I really did love it. If by some chance you haven't read this series I highly recommend the recorded version, it's great. Well, Harry was so good that I actually had a hard time reading anything else for a few days, nothing seemed nearly as good. But just before I started Harry I read These is my words, by Nancy Turner. It is the story of a pioneer woman who comes west. Great escape historical fiction. Sometimes it is kind of fun to jump into another time period. I used to think I would have loved to be a pioneer. I love wearing skirts, making my own things. Somehow it seemed so romantic. Then I became a wife and mother. NO thanks! This book is just so heartbreaking from the woman's point of view. Having babies, losing babies trying to feed babies and keep them and ones husband alive, it just seemed so exhausting. What makes it enjoyable is when you see her succeed through such trials I guess I enjoyed it so much I am reading the sequel, Sarah's quilt. And since I was sharing Harry with my daughter I was reading An Ordinary Man by Paul Rusesabagina. It is the autobiographical story that the movie Hotel Rwanda is made from. Gut-wrenching and wonderful. Yes, it is the story of a horrible event that I could hardly even comprehend actually happened. But in the middle of this nightmare an ordinary, but brave man managed to save over a thousand people from hideous deaths. The thing that makes this an enjoyable book is that this man, who has seen so much that is awful, seems to see even a little good in every human being. He makes the point that part of how he managed to talk himself out of these impossible situations is by finding the glimmer of humanity in someone whom I think I would have assumed had none left. And he manages to take advantage of that glimmer and help them decide not to do whatever awful thing it was they had planned. And he just kept doing it over and over. It really is a good book. My mother works for the public library system and is in charge of having different authors come and lecture. She had him come last year, I really wish I had gone now. She said he was such a wonderful gentleman and still can't believe she got to meet him.

So what do my three seemingly unconnected books have to do with each other? Well, they all made me glad I live when and where I do! I am glad I don't have to struggle to survive and protect my family. I am grateful I don't have to fight real, physical evil in either Harry's world or Paul's. Sorry this turned into a really long post! But what are you reading? What is your favorite book this summer?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Witches are Coming!!

Not too much going on around here today, my father-in-law is coming to visit so we are cleaning house and getting ready for him. But I have been pulling a few late nights, it seems to be the only time I get a bunch done. I am working on some little witchy girls for the shop re-opening September 1st (shameless reminder!). Thought I would give you a little peek at them all lined up on my ironing board awaiting the sewing machine. I am not sure how well you can tell, but some will be black and orange and some will be black and pink. I just love a black and pink witch! Don't they look cute in a freaky sort of way with no hair? Well hopefully they will be getting hair sometime this weekend, but if not school starts Monday, Yeah!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Apple Tart!

Are you getting the feeling I am baking a lot lately? I think it is the cool mornings here, I like baking more when it isn't heating the whole house. Anyway, we found apples on sale yesterday so I thought I would make hubby an apple tart. It turned out pretty yummy for gluten-free and the best part was that I came up with a crust that will be handy for other cheesecake-type desserts. Here is the recipe, you can make it gluten-free or for normal people!

Crust: 1 1/3 C rice flour for gluten-free or wheat flour for standard recipe

3/4 C melted butter

2/3 C sugar Stir that together and press into springform pan. Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes. In mixer combine 8 oz cream cheese, 1 egg, 2 t. vanilla 2/3 c sugar. Mix until smooth and pour over crust when it comes out. Carefully arrange peeled and sliced apples on top and bake at 375 for about 40-45 minutes. Cool and refrigerate. The recipe says to drizzle a marmalade heated with a bit of water to thin it on top but we didn't do that as it seems plenty sweet. It also called for 2 packages of cream cheese but I only had one, you could add it if you wanted more cheesecake in that layer. I forgot to take the picture before we sliced into it, but you can see we liked it that way! I am going to make this more in the autumn I think.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Fairies and Blue birds!!

I finally finished a couple of things I have been working on. I am hoping to have my etsy shop open again by September first. So I thought it might be fun to try some fairy dolls. I tried making a smaller version(Miss Pinky there in the picture). But I don't really love how she turned out,her neck is a little too long so I think I will stick with my original size. It just works for me. So how do you like Miss Blue fairy? She is very excited to meet you all in the shop and hopes to find a home with someone soon. I think I will try some little witch girlies here in the next week or so for Halloween and maybe even little Christmas gals!

This is a close up of her sparkle wings, one of my favorite features!

I also got a coat of varnish on my blue birds. Do you like them better with eyes like their cherry red friends below or without. Actually I just forgot to put on the eyes before I varnished them! Haven't decided whether they will be in the shop or not yet.

So stay tuned, I am thinking another give-away would be a good way to celebrate my re-opening!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Meet George and Lucy!

I told you we have been crafty around here. I was looking around etsy at doll and toy creations and thought we might have fun making our version of these two-faced dolls. We just drew the faces on with permanant marker and found fabric in my stash for clothes. The kids love them, Matthew had to have one too. Only now I think we have to make Joshua one. Oh,and can you tell it was "I gotta wear over-alls today like my sister?!

George and Lucy awake--!

And sleeping peacefully!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

We are getting crafty around here again!

I had the urge to play with sculpey clay the other day so I made these fun little cherry red guys. There are going to be bluebirds eventually. I am hoping to get the shop up and going soon for the coming Christmas season. Hopefully I will have some new fairy dolls to show you in the next couple of days. I am thinking of making some doll clothes to put in there. Specifically little christening dresses, they are always the most popular with Brittany's friends. What do you think? Is there much of a market for dolly clothes?

And after visiting Amy at Angry chicken I visited a few of the suggestions she had for kid toy/crafting ideas and Brittany and I decided to give this a try. I am not sure how well you can see but we transfered a picture of a kitty she had drawn onto a piece of cotton broadcloth. (To do this we taped the original to our glass door and then taped the fabric over the top and just traced it with a pencil.) Then we had our first lesson in embroidary. So far she is really doing well and hasn't put it down for more than a meal yet! Hopefully we will have a finished project to show you some time soon!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Just a quick little post today.

I wasn't going to post pictures of the family room until the additional sofa we have ordered comes but I decided to put a little up today anyhow.

This is the only picture I can find of the before. The blue rug has left this room for obvious reasons.

And this is the after. I am so much happier with it now! Although the little quote above the mantel is going to be redone in larger letters and possibly a different quote. But it is okay for now. I am still looking for a good one, maybe something about families and time since it is above the clock. Hopefully we will add a rug eventually too.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

More food!

I guess it is just going to be that kind of week. I saw this over on killthegluten (used your picture Liz!) and at Sandy's, it just looked so summery I had to try it. It is so good with corn chips. I am eating it as I type! I sort of combined the two recipes. I didn't have avocado and put in twice as much tomato, cause well it's that time of year and I used Liz's dressing but used the vidallia onion like Sandy. It is so yummy! So go try it, you will need to scroll down about half way over on kill the gluten because I am not high-tech enough to send you to the exact right spot, but that is okay because then you can check out their other yummy stuff Liz and Melanie have over there. Even if you don't have issues with gluten!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Yummy Brownie Cupcakes!!!
Today we have the best of two worlds, brownies and cupcakes! And I made them gluten-free! You can make them with gluten if you like though. Here is the recipe:
In a bowl combine the following:
2 eggs
1/2 C oil
1 C sugar
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 C flour or rice flour if you are making gluten free
1/3 C cocoa
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
Mix that all together and them pour into about 12 cupcake lined muffin tins. Bake at 350 for about 18-20 min. When they look done take them out and sprinkle marshmallows on top. Then put them back in under the broiler for just a couple of minutes until they are just a little brown, as shown in the picture. Let them cool completely and then frost with chocolate frosting. Yummy! The gluten-free version really has to be totally cool or they don't come out of the wrappers nicely. Other than that they are easy-peasy and super yummy!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

How about a trip to San Francisco?!

Well, this time we got out of the car! We had a great time at the aquarium. Of course the starfish were a big hit and it was fun to have the sharks swim over and around us as we walked through a tunnel surrounded by them. Brittany loved touching all the animals in the touch-tanks and Dad even touched a little shark. Matthew, however, made sure he had a tight grip on my hand the whole time. Then we took our picnic to a park near the Golden Gate Bridge. It was windy, but really beautiful

And don't these cool house just look exactly like you imagine San Francisco looks? I could drive around and look at them all day long. Please excuse the picture-out-the-window effect. All in all it was a fun day!

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Fairies are Coming!

We have decided to make Brittany's room a fairy room now instead of a ballerina room. So I decided to try collage. Just let me say right now, it was harder than I thought! I see so many amazing collage artists in the blog-world and I thought, "I can probably do that". Well, it was a lot harder than I thought to know where to start and where to stop! I decided to take some of Brittany's pictures growing up and turn them into fairies. It was really fun, although I am not sure it turned out like I thought it would, but then I didn't really have a great vision. Perhaps that was my problem. Hope you can tell that they are supposed to be sitting in different flowers. I did that little one on a 4x5 canvas and I almost like it the best. I was very happy to find Natasha's tutorial on crepe paper ruffles, the timing was perfect. I also tried to turn one of the ballerinas I had done for her recital into a fairy. If you click on her you can see that she has fairy wings now. All in all it was fun and Brittany seems to be happy with them. We are making some little fairies to hang from her canopy so I will show pics when we finish. Lots of fairy love to all!!!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Finishing the kitchen

The kitchen before:

Well, I am still working on lots of things around here. After getting our first power bill last week(Ouch!), I decided to make a curtain to try and keep some of the morning sun from coming in the sliding glass door. I couldn't find one large enough so this is two sewn together and then I cut them apart and added the black stripe. I am just not quite sure if the stripe is too wide. I think I will still line it to keep even more light out. My mom made me three darling tablecloths when she came, they were just a little too long so needed just a little alteration. She also gave me the cute layers, doesn't my table look cute now! Thanks Mom!

And the after:

Monday, August 06, 2007

Look where we went this weekend!

Well, we got out our little Family-fun in Northern California book and went adventuring! We decided to go check out Berkley, kind of an odd choice, but it was pretty close. Our book talked about a spot where there was a pier that went out into the bay and had lots of people flying beach kites. Aren't they amazing?! The kid loved them. We also saw sailboats and people with alot more coordination than me wind surfing. It was a lot of fun.

Then the temptation of San Francisco right across the bay was just too much and we decided we just had to try it. So this is a picture taken as we are crossing the Bay Bridge. I have to say I was glad when we got to the other side after the events in Minnesota. So we get into the city and are so proud of ourselves. Then it sort of dawns on us as we find Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39 that Saturday night is probably not the easiest time for this adventure with three kids and a stroller. So it was kind of like, "Look kids, the big city! Oh, sorry we aren't getting out of the car." But it was fun anyhow and now we know we can do it! Have a great Monday, and don't forget to enter for the drawing tomorrow. For my folks who don' t have accounts, remember you can leave a comment by just clicking on comments, typing in the box and clicking anonymous. But don't forget to leave your name in case you win!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Oh what a great mail day!
Some times around here we have a reallygood mail day and the mail man brings treasures, but yesterday was a really GREAT mail day! Look at the fabulous fairy charm that I will probably be wearing every day I am not wearing my rose charm from Karla.
I found it on etsy. I think one of the best about it, other than the fact that it is just gorgeous, it that it is two sided! That is right two necklaces for the price of one! And look how darling the packaging was!

And then we have my fairy art doll. She showed up in our mail box too and can you believe how great she is? My swap partner Sarah really did a great job and I just love her. I think we may be developing a cupcake theme in the kitchen. Look how cute she looks with my cupcake girl from Diane (who has some really darling fairies in her ebay shop right now)! She is even the right color red for the kitchen. Thank you so much Sarah I love, love, LOVE her!

And you can also see the little fairies we have been creating around here. Let's just say my house has a fine layer of glitter on it now. It is funny, once you get out the glitter it is like you just can't stop making things sparkle! I used some vintage style paper dolls I had, these were actually Little Women paper dolls, for their heads and started with an idea I saw on flicker from one on the other swappers. I really liked the way they turned out. I won't tell you which one is for Sarah and which I am keeping, just in case she peeks!
And of course Miss Brittany had to give this a try. She decided at eight she was ready to try the glue gun on her own. So with a cup of ice water ready just in case she went crazy. She just couldn't stop creating. Aren't they just beautiful! We are going to send the bride to our cousin Libby and keep the blue girl. It really is fun getting to do crafts with my daughter. Now if we could just keep the little boys out of the way a little longer

So you can see we had a lot of fun this week! Don't forget to leave a comment so you will be entered in my give-away and have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

What have we here?

A box, but not just any box. This is the last unpacked box that is waiting for me to unpack it! (Hubby, however, still has quite a few!)

This is great moment, what could be inside?

One of my favorite things! The Victoria magazines that I never could part with after they quit publishing this fabulous magazine. Good news though, it is coming back! I already signed up for my subscription so I will let you know if it is up to the old standard.

And here is its new home, in my cupboard in the kitchen keeping my big-old green purse company!

To celebrate this great occasion I will be having a give-away! I didn't get the picture taken so check back tomorrow, hopefully I will have it ready!