Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cute Owls

My adorable niece Brigitte made me these darling owl earrings! Aren't I lucky?! They are made from shrinky-dink plastic.

See how happy they make me. I wish those bangs I had cut a couple of weeks ago made me as happy. I forgot I hate things touching my face when it is hot. Oh well, at least my ears are cute!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Finally, a Good Book!

It has been a long time since I found a book I felt this enthusiastic about. Motherboard, recommended it to me a few weeks ago and all I can say is Thank you! It is the story of Juliet, a writer who is struggling to come up with her next book subject in the months that followed World War II. She receives a letter from a stranger who lives on one of the Channel islands that was occupied by the Nazis during the war. They and other members of the community begin a correspondence. So the format of the whole book is a collection of letters, not usually my favorite style but this time I loved it. The author was able to make the different characters have their own voices this way. I have to say it made me long for days when people wrote letters. Yes, email is great and you don't have to wait long for a response but there is something to be said for anticipation. You could tell the authors of the letters were so eager to receive their next letter. I miss that. This is just a lovely book, if you are at all fond of this time period like I am this is great one too. Today I am already missing the characters, always a sign of a good book!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Brittany's New Hobby

This is my reading obsessed child. She is determined to have the most AR reading points at school by the end of the term next week. So she is listening to books on tape in all her free moments. Luckily she does want to be outside so she devised this system. She puts a book on CD on the little player, puts it in her basket and then rides around the block. Don't worry, our house, that one behind her and one other are really the only ones that use our street. She just goes around and around that square block.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Fashion Show

One of our Memorial Day BBQs was at my mom and dad's house. It was really supposed to be a impromptu dinner to celebrate my sister Tiff's birthday next week. One of the kids favorite activities at Grandma's house is to play fashion show. She has been collecting all sorts of things for these fashion shows for years. They include hats gloves and dresses that were my great-aunts and great grandmother's too. Then Grandma narrates and describes each participant. It is a great time. If you click on the collage it gets bigger and you can really see them in all their glory.
Uncle Nate even got in on the act this time! The man can wear a hat what can I say?!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day

So far we have had a lovely Memorial Day weekend. We made the trip to the cemetery early today. I think my mom is right, our local cemetery really looks so pretty for Memorial Day. I can't imagine any other looks prettier.

Sorry, blurry picture of my grandparent's grave. There were an amazing number of flags for our servicemen too.

Flowers as far as you could see.

This is what the boys around here have been working on this weekend. William was making great progress on the sprinkler system yesterday. Trenchers are fascinating machines to little boys too.

Unfortunately it rained all day today so he may not get as far tomorrow as he hoped.

So far we have also had two family BBQs. Fun! What are you all up to?

Friday, May 22, 2009

More Progress

Another little bit of decorating. Whenever I finish some new thing for the house it is so fun to post it to show you guys. These are three pictures I took while we lived in California. Two from San Francisco and one from Mendocino. They were supposed to be done as a surprise for William for our anniversary last month but life happened. Now I just have to wait for the repair guys to come look at the stuff they broke next week, so that William can fix that stuff and we can get all the furniture in its permanent places. Then I can finally hang these. But while I wait at least they make me happy sitting on the floor.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Soccer Boy

Soccer season ended last week. Matthew made the choice to go to Gram's funeral and miss the last game. Great kid isn't he? He has really enjoyed soccer this year. We didn't do it when we were in CA last year, too expensive for a five year old. So this year he was really excited. We did AYSO instead of a city league and I think I am a fan. With only 3 kids from each team on the field at a time and no goalie they all came away feeling like superstars.

Yes, that is illegal jumping. We were still learning. I took these pictures at the beginning of the season when it was still really cold too.

Do you love the determination on his face?
Working so hard to get that ball!

This was his team. They had a pizza party at his coach's house to wrap up. They were all cute boys. I would have to say I might actually be looking forward to fall soccer. It was a fun thing we all went to together but that only worked because Brittany didn't want to do soccer this year (thank heavens!).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Last of the Funeral Posts

I swear this is really the last of the funeral posts. But what can I say, it really sort of took over my life last week.

I had to share the collage. It was so fun to do. There were cards from my Grandpa post WWII, my dad and his brothers as little boys and even some from my cousins and I . The one thing I learned doing it is how important it is to write and tell some one how much they mean to you. It made us feel how much she loved us to see all the treasures she had saved from us. Now I have to go get a big box to keep all my kids crap in.

I am not into funeral pictures but I did take this one of the flowers on top of the casket because it had a fun story. When my Gram was a mom with little ones there was a lady in her church, Deleine Bowman. Her family owned the local grocery store and as far as local society went my Gram considered her the top. Every Mother's Day Deleine would come to church with an orchid as big as a dinner plate. Big time Wow! My grandpa would try, honestly he would but his frugal nature would really only allow him to splurge on the grocery store variety, more the size of a teacup. As the boys got bigger and we all came along we sort of clued into how much Gram loved a big orchid so having a "Deleine Bowman" orchid became the hallmark of a great Mother's Day to Gram. So my sweet, super-smart mom made sure that there were three,one for each son, "Deleine Bowman" orchids in the arrangement on top of the casket. Oh, and Mr. Bowman came to the viewing. My Gram would have been over the moon! Just for my cousin Camille, who had a baby the day before Gram passed, here is a picture of my dad, his brothers and their cousins that came to the viewing. Aren't they a handsome group? My dad is on the far right. As hard as this week was it was really great to see so many of the family members that are part of my rich childhood memories. Have to say I do prefer seeing them at weddings though!

Now back to some cheerful crafting and silly kid adventures!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

All right, let's get something happier on this old blog! Thank you so much for all of your kind words about my Gram. I am working away on my collage and it looks like I will be representing my cousins sharing some memories of Gram at the funeral Saturday. So spare me a few kind thoughts Saturday morning, I am hoping not to turn into a big bawling pile of mush!

This is a painting I worked on last week when I was up late and couldn't sleep. I sketched it while we where still in California. Some of my blog friends do the loveliest commissioned family portraits. I wish I could afford to have Tracy or Jenn do my family. But they got me all inspired to try my own poor imitation. I had a ball messing around with it. I have been so inspired by so many things I see in blogland. I had to email Jenn when I was done though because I love her paintings where she uses a stripey or dotted house like this and flies a banner overhead and wanted to use the idea in mine. She said she wouldn't hate me forever for being the kid in grade school who copies your art project. She was very gracious and adorable as always but you really should check her out, her work is amazing.

When I was all done I crackled it, something I have seen Diane and Adri do. I really like how it turned out, I didn't realize how really thick it needed to be to get a good crackle. These girls must buy it by the gallon.

I have this funny little ledge on the way down the stairs. I think it will be our little gallery. I will add some of the kids work eventually but for right now we are hanging out with the paper mache house I did a bit ago, also inspired by Jenn. Not a very good picture, but I was too impatient to wait for better.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Now What

Some of you have heard, my sweet Gram left this world that had become so difficult for her Saturday afternoon. I just read my friend Tif's post today and she put it perfectly, " death, even of a person who is very old and has been very sick, never feels like relief even though people say that all the time, but instead leaves a space like a hole in the universe that only that unique individual can fill. " That is it exactly, there will never be another character in the make-up of my life like my Gram.

So now we begin the week of preparing to celebrate her. There is something in my makeup that insists I make something. I am such a weirdo. What I come up with may just end up being my own little therapy but I have a plan and I need suggestions. I went through the boxes of pictures and cards my Gram had saved through the decades. Let's say that if she ever forgot how loved she was it was not for lack of having been told! Her three boys, hubby and even grandkids had written and sent loads of cards. And she saved every. single. one. That is a lot of cards let me tell you! But when I found the ones from her boys when they were just little guys, six or seven it made we want to go buy a giant box to keep every card my kids ever give me. So here some of them are. Pretty isn't she? I am thinking of making a great big collage out of all of this. Anyone ever done such a thing? Seen such a thing? Have any suggestions. If it turns out at all presentable we may put it on an easel with the flowers at the funeral.

Thanks so much for the love and condolences I have received. I have the very best friends. Real and "imaginary" as my family calls it.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Building the Rock Wall

Well, it has been a rough week. I have been fairly absent from blogland. My sweet little grandma has been struggling to leave this life. She has suffered from dementia for at least three years and we all want her struggle to be over and for her to join her long-missed husband but it so hard to watch. She hasn't gone yet but we expect it this weekend. So I just haven't felt too chatty. But on the upside we have had some major changes going on in our backyard.
First this big-ole pile of rocks was delivered. Lots of king of the mountain was played.

Then the guys with the big machinery showed up. Could their possibly be anything better to a boy than having one of these in your own backyard?
And when it gets too noisy you can always hang out at the window and keep watching.
Here is the finished product.
From the other side. I can hardly wait to plant different colored flox in those little spots. It will be so pretty next Spring. Assuming we add the rest of the patio, the curbing, the sprinklers and the lawn. Sigh...

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Today is Cinco de Mayo, not a very original name according to my kids when I explained that it literally meant 5th of May. We are celebrating today. Of course we are really celebrating the things we like about Mexico, like the yummy food, bright colors and lovely people. Not the battle that Cinco de Mayo really commemorates. Or the swine flu. But it is a great excuse to have a fun dinner

Brittany stayed home this morning after a dentist appointment and made me gorgeous tissue paper flowers.

This is how they look on the chandelier. I think all the fun moments of our family are going to be marked by how that chandelier looks.

We are going to have taquitos, enchiladas and chips with salsa for dinner. I think I am more excited than the kids!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Some Good Books

I have mentioned I have had a shortage of good books lately. So it usually helps to switch genres. Brittany was in a book drought too so I decided to investigate some children's Lit we both could enjoy. I thought I would share some that we have liked, okay Brittany liked, I haven't read them all yet. A new author we hadn't read before, Eva Ibbotson. Two are pictured here, we both really liked The Secret of Platform 13, Which Which is a newer one we were waiting for from the library. They are fantasy, reccomended for readers of Harry Potter, but I would have to say light fantasy with a sense of humor. She has quite a few books, which is always nice so Miss B won't run out for awhile. She really liked Framed by Frank Cottrell Boyce, the guy who wrote Millions. It is about a family who are art theives. She has read several by Blue Balliett. She has listened to and read Chasing Vermeer several times. This author has several books too.
We just discovered The Royal Diary series thanks to a gifted book from my friend Circe. They are historical fiction, diaries of young girls throughout history. Marie Antoinette, Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth. The list goes on and on. So far I have found three authors who write these. Kathryn Lasky, Kristiana Gregory and Carolyn Meyer.

Just thought I would share, summer vacation is just around the corner and a steady supply of books are a must for Brittany's survival.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

More Mother's Day Gifts

I found a nesting doll who is homeless while I was working in my craft area (can't actually call it a room, it is just a corner of the basement) the other day. She is in the shop.

I put together some note cards. This series is of San Francisco and Mendocino. They make me miss the area.

These are some I took on my running photo shoot of Temple Square a few weeks ago. Both sets come wrapped up with a bow and are in the Shop too.

There, that may be all for awhile. It feels good to have put some new goodies in there. It has also made me think of what to get our mothers for the big day. Anyone have anything brilliant they are doing this year? Hope you are having a great weekend!

Friday, May 01, 2009


While William was out of town this week I tackled some sewing, while I waited for paint to dry on the table. I thought it would be fun to have some purses in the shop for Mother's Day. I had some really fun fabric and ideas. Here they are: Pink and green toile with pink gingham lining.

This one was made from a tea towel. It has a red polka dot lining.
Pink and brown toile with a tan gingham lining.
This one was an idea I got from Alicia Paulson's book. It is hard to see, but they are strips of fabric layered and pleated on top of each other. I really liked how it turned out. This one is pink and brown.
Same idea but in black and white and with more pleats. This is the one I may have to keep for myself. It has a polka dot lining.

Here is a close-up of the layers and pleats.

They are in the shop . I have one more bag and a few other things I hope to add this weekend for Mother's Day. Oh, and shipping is free on additional items after you purchase the first one right now in the shop.