Saturday, January 30, 2010

Avery started ballet this week. It's a half hour class through the Parks and Rec and it's a PERFECT place for her to have fun, build confidence, and DANCE!

I expected a bit of anxiety on her part but knew the class was something she would love and could handle so when we got out of the car and there were tears and fears I just kept walking her towards the class. Everyone gathered and her teacher took roll and then noticed her sad face and said something about how some kids get shy on the first day, then took her by the hand and they went over and put on the princess music. I stepped out and watched through the window with the other parents, relieved that she was no longer crying but instead focusing on the moves intently. She would smile and wave at me every once in awhile. It was awesome.

Now I think she'd like to go daily and as I type, she's sporting a leotard.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Believe it or not, for me creative endeavors happen in spurts, when I have time, a TO DO list, and the creative drive, or need to create within. I go long periods of time when I might have a bit of time but nothing to make, or maybe a list of projects but not time, or time and projects but no interest. You get the picture.

Sometimes the planets allign to allow what happened this weekend to happen: an open weekend at home with no plans hatched all sorts of productivity on the creative front. Yes people. I crossed several creative projects off my TO DO list and loved every minute of it.

I had intended for this tote to be a birthday present but I reconsidered after it was done. Now it's Avery's and I have plans to also make Julia one. This weekend I stitched down the owl and all its parts as last week I had only stuck it down with iron-on adhesive. The owl has books in its' wings, and is intended as a library bag as the ones they have now are on the small side.

I am hard at work on actual artwork for our home: a collage for the family room's mantle.

While "watching" a man movie (Hurt Locker) with my husband Friday night, I finished this hat that I've been poking away on for awhile now. Then, I started a second hat that I finished today during our family's movie night.(We watched Wild Horses Can't Be Broken). These ribbed hats come together very quickly and knitting, it's such a mindless but welcome way to occupy my fingers.

This sweater was coming apart along the neck seam so as a solution I sewed some brown ric rac I had along the seam. Voila! Visual interest. (Look at all the brown in this post-it's definitely my go-to color).

The next time I have time, motivation, and creative juices accessible, I really want to sew myself a swim bag, with little compartments for things like my rec center membership card, goggles, shampoo, towel, wallet, lock, keys, etc. There's other stuff on the TO DO pile, too. And hats, always more hats.

Today, we got a late Christmas present from my brother that I am so excited about. It's a big beautiful book put out by Chronicle (Chronicle just makes the prettiest books!)called The Life and Love of Trees by Lewis Blackwell. Included within are the most amazing photographs of trees, with quotes about trees and information about the species photographed. I have always noticed trees, and loved capturing their aesthetic in photos. This was really a treat to receive and it's something we can all look at and enjoy. Thanks, Andy!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Birth of a Sewer

For Christmas this year Julia received a sewing kit . I was so excited for this and she was too when she opened it. The kit itself is okay. The scissors, measuring tape, and thimble will all need upgrading, but it included pre-cut felt shapes, embelishments, etc. that encouraged some fun beginning projects.

The other day she set out to complete one of her first projects: a stuffed felt elephant for her sister. I was so proud of her focus and perseverence. And the elephant turned out so cute! She's working on a second project, a dog, these days, in spurts.

I love having both encouraged and witnessed the birth of this mini-seamstress. Stay tuned for the birth of a second seamstress in the house, the sister who does not yet own a sewing kit but who has created her own out of a random bag.......

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

For the Children

The rising hills, the slopes,
of statistics
lie before us.
the steep climb
of everything, going up,
up, as we all
go down.

In the next century
or the one beyond that,
they say,
are valleys, pastures,
we can meet there in peace
if we make it.

To climb these coming crests
one word to you, to
you and your children:

stay together
learn the flowers
go light

-Gary Snyder
(His stuff was recommended by a friend who says his words are like vitamins for the psyche, and I agree)

Twelve More

It's been awhile. I've had several people ask me lately where the blog posts are.
Good question. They are somewhere in this brain of mine underneath a lot of other mundane and ordinary matters that, in no particular order are what I've been up to.

1. I put 14 things on Craig's List and have sold nine. Most of it was baby stuff.

2. I joined the local rec center and have been swimming and jogging each morning Avery's at preschool. It feels great.

3. We went to a second Yurt at Beverly Beach. Great time. That's where the pic above was taken. Both Yurt trips deserve a post so stay tuned for details.

4. January has been the month of the playdate. Each kid has had four so far and all have been great. I love the friend-making stuff.

5. We celebrated our seventh year of marriage in early January. CRAZY!

6. There was a birthday celebrated last weekend, a SIGNIFICANT milestone of a birthday, for a certain spouse, that's all I'll say.

7. We have been busily planning our summer. It seems crazy but when you camp like we do, those reservations need to be made as soon as they can. This year Wallowa Lake and Jed Smith are going on the books.

8. We finally watched Benjamin Button. Wasn't he endearing in his short little old man stature and kid-like mannerisms? There were a few quotes I wrote down from that movie, one that his daughter was reading off a postcard he wrote her:

"For what it's worth: it's never too late, or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again."

Another great sentiment is, "You never know what's comin' for ya." You never do! I love that about life.

9. I Tivo Ellen every day to see if I can catch my brother Andy making an appearance and yesterday Matt Morris performed. His song Money is amazing. What I love is the smile he wears when he sings and when he listens to the applause he receives, as though he is both humbled and inspired all at once. I also love finding new music to get excited about.

10. Avery had another birthday party this week at the Lego store. So fun! I enjoyed sitting and building cars with her and her schoolmates. With other birthday parties happening here and there Avery is especially awaiting her birthday party this year and she told me in the car the other day, "My birthday is in four pages..." I loved that.

11. I subscribed to Sunset magazine this year. I think it's going to be a good one to get.

12. Julia started Gymnastics and is such a natural out there, her little athletic body bouncing and running. I love it. She was totally ready for that. Avery starts her ballet/movement class next week and I'm looking forward to her enjoying that.

I've got to go cook dinner now. I'm doing something with Halibut.

I'll make you a deal, if you come back, I will, too!

Friday, January 01, 2010

Ten Things

Happy 2010! I have had a wonderful, restful time with the fam experiencing the holidays. I'm looking forward to getting back into our routine in a few more days but for now am enjoying every last morsel of our freedom.

Here are ten tid-bits to let you in on life lately:
1. I got my husband good knives for Christmas and then cut the tip of my thumb off with one of them the other day while making applesauce.

2. It snowed here this week. Totally out of the blue.

3. We hit the zoo last week. It was a great visit: cold, but lots of animals and action. The beavers, for example, were out and eating carrots. Sweet!

4. We are staying in a Yurt tomorrow night. I've never spent the night in a Yurt. Should be a hoot.

5. On tap for Sunday night when we get home: Old Yeller. It's a classic, and the funny thing is, I've checked it out from the library multiple times, only to return it because each time I think, "It's too sad. We're not ready for it." But now, I am going to show it to them. I'll let you know how that goes.

6. The girls are going to be taking classes in January. Julia: gymnastics. Avery: dance.

7. At our preschool auction in mid-November we came home with 20 passes for the local pool/rec center that I was determined to use before they expired Dec. 31st. I only have two left which I intended to use this week but didn't because the lady behind the desk said I could totally use them in 2010.

8. We had ham for Christmas dinner and my husband has made two different ham casseroles out of the leftovers that have been so yum.

9. Do you watch Modern Family? I started watching it recently and just love that show. It's my new fave. Cameron is my favorite character.

10. The kids and I have been reading Bill Pete books over the break. We have only two more to read. My favorites: Pamela Camel, Merle the High Flying Squirrel, Kermit the Hermit, Ella, and the Gnats of Knotty Pine. I used to always do an author study of Bill Pete's books when I was teaching, so it was fun to read them with my own kiddos. We discovered they have common elements like trains, barns, the city vs. the country, and circuses. There are a few that also have a strong environmental theme. Love them!

Happy New Year! See you back here real soon!