2 Weekends In Pictures

birthday cake - chocolate cake...cream cheese chocolate chip filling...chocolate buttercream icing.

oliver and lydia...cousins and besties!

party fun...look at linus in the background

oliver gets to ride the scooter alone for the first time.


had to do a leia do for the occassion

art...acrylics and oil pastels...3 of them are linus'...can you guess which ones?

kitty love

ugly dress that i wore 1 time, 9 years ago...will be transformed into something lovely (or I'm going in jeans) for a wedding next month.

repurposed a skirt and made a cool tunic...this is me trying to get a picture of the back to see what alterations still needed to be made...REALLY need a dress form.



Of Chuck Taylor and a Can of Worms

I woke up in the middle of the night on Friday thinking..."where are those Chuck Taylors?" You see, when Noah was little, I bought him a pair of vintage Chucks on Ebay. It was my attempt at being mathcy-matchy with my kid...when your mom/son...sneakers are as matchy-matchy as you can get. Noah didn't like the way they felt. When they fit Peter, HE didn't like the way they felt. Hoping they would last, I packed them away knowing 8 years down the road they'd fit somebody.

Saturday morning, poured a cup of coffee, and set off to find them...somewhere...in the attic. I opened the door, and immediately wanted to shut it and pretend that I didn't see that huge mess. As luck would have it, I immediately saw a box labeled "boys size 7 pants, size large dress shirts, size 1 boots, size medium sweatshirts, and...CHUCK TAYLORS SIZE 1. Evidently, THAT box was packed in one of those OCD moments, which are rare...oh, shut up...yes they are! Anyway it was taped up like Fort Knox, I got it open, grabbed the chucks and searched for Oliver like the he was Cinderella or something. Please God...let him "like" the way they feel, I prayed. You see, Steven and I both love Chucks (we're both in need of new ones) and if we don't have at least ONE kid that loves them too...well, theirs always adoption!

Um....now we have to teach him how to tie his shoes, because in this world of velcro and slip-ons, I'm afraid we've neglected to do that.

Back to the attic to re-stack the boxes, and despite every instinct to turn and walk away from the mess...I couldn't. Darn...cleaning the attic was NOT on my list of things to do, but I just couldn't help myself.

Before I tell you what I found, let me tell you that I had just...and I mean JUST told Steven that Oliver needed 2 more pair of school pants (trying to make it through a week with 3 wasn't happening), and at least 1 more pair of play pants. Linus needed all new winter clothes, underwear, and PJ's.

Fast-forward 3 hours later, I had found an entire winter wardrobe for Linus, and a whole other box of spring/summer for next year. 10 pair of Linus-size underwear, more PJ's than I can fit in his drawer including 6 footed sleepers. That's gold to me...I hate bying PJ's...it PAINS me to spend money on PJ's. Then...get this...I found 2 pairs of Oliver-sized khaki pants, and a nice pair of Hannah Andersson play pants.

I also managed to fill 2 boxes with baby clothes for a friend, a huge bag of 3T stuff for another friend, put away and labeled all the heirloom/family/handmade things that I'm saving for, ahem, grandchildren...not that I'm old enough or anything, but it doesn't hurt to plan, and 2 bags of maternity clothes for Goodwill. All of this because I wanted to find a pair of shoes! See how God works? He knew that attic needed to be cleaned...he knew my kids needed clothes...now several people get to benefit from the little middle-of-the-night obesession about finding those sneakers.

Now...about the bathrooms that didn't get cleaned because I was putzing around in the attic all day....


Le Apron

An old theater pal of mine decided to up and start a cupcake company. Introducing...Le Cupcake! Go to her facebook page and "like". I am also in the throws of starting the Michigan Cupcake Company, and thought when we both come head to head at Cupcake Wars, she'll need something cute for the competition.

Enter...Le Apron. I didn't ask ahead of time if she wanted a half or full apron, so I decided to make the bib detachable. Why haven't I thought of this before? I know I don't have time to make and stock my Etsy store with these, so I'm going to tweak the design a bit and share in a tutorial coming soon so everyone can make their own. In the meantime, I must make one for myself, so that when we come head to head...or cupcake to cupcake on the Food Network I'm not wearing the restaurant-style, plain white one I wear in my own kitchen.

And speaking of cupcakes...I had an order for snake-themed cupcakes this weekend.


Oliver's 6th Birthday

Although a few weeks late, we finally celebrated Oliver's 6th birthday. He asked for an art-themed party at Kids n Stuff. I knew immediately that I wanted to design the cake to include my favorite painting of his. I took it to the printer and had them reduce it so that I didn't have to make a double sheet cake just to accomodate the painting. The cake was not nearly as elaborate as my original design, but I just didn't have the time to do everything I wanted. He asked for vanilla and chocolate with a cream cheese filling. Since he was giving me carte blanche on the icing, I got crazy and made a rootbeer buttercream (it wasn't very rootbeer-y...will have to tweek that recipe). I made the palate out of fondant, and used primary color decorator icing for the border and "paint". Each guest was provided an easel (we got these from IKEA for .99 ea), and a 5x7 canvas, and got to do their own painting to take home. Our party room was right next to the art room which was very convenient. The kids all had a great time, and everyone seemed to leave happy! Aside...It was the first time Oliver invited school friends, and I think it will be the last unless I know the parents personally. Of the 6 that were invited, only ONE responded (2 hours before), and was the ONLY ONE TO SHOW UP! What happened to social etiquette? Thankfully, Oliver didn't seem to care. Between family friends and cousins, we had quite a crowd. Yes, our overly-ambitious 6 year old was very happy indeed.


More Figgy's For Linus

I knew if I bought a new pattern it would give me the impetus to get through some of the unfinished items in my queue. After finishing 3 of them, I rewarded myself by diving into a t-shirt pattern. Within an hour, I had 2 sizes traced, and 4 shirts cut out. Since one of the unfinshed items that I got around to was a pair of pants meant for Christmas, I decided to make a shirt to match (too late now for the intentioned turtle neck and vest).
The size 2/3 pants are still huge on my smaller than normal 3 1/2 year old, but that means they may just fit next fall too. Next is one for Oliver who when asked what embellishment he wanted, requested an "R". Confused, he clicked his tongue at me and said "well, Linus is Batman, I'll be Robin".


5th in Queue

So excited when I got home and found my new Figgy's pattern had arrived. Totally bummed that I have so little time to sew, and 5 other projects in queue before I can start. Check out the vintage "theme park" knit that I picked up last year at Arts and Scraps for almost nothing. It's going to make for some really cute pajamas for Linus and Oliver.

Speaking of sewing for Linus and Oliver. One of the things in my queue is their Christmas outfits! Do you think it will be too warm on Easter for corduroy...it's baby blue?


Creative Solutions

Oliver found his creative side a bit ago, and proceeded to take a marker to all things but paper. The worst of it was my mother-in-law's dining room chair.

So off to the fabric store I went, with a swatch of her wallpaper in hand, and a few measurements. I settled on "turkey red" quilting cotton as it was only $4.99/yd, AND I had a 40% off coupon. Having never made chair covers, I thought...I'm not spending a lot of money if I'm going to flub it up. I made a few sketches, and traced the seat to make a pattern. Of course he couldn't pick a chair with a square or rectangular seat...it had to be scalloped...really?

I used some tan sheeting I had laying around to line the back. It is essentially like a pillowcase, but I added a triangular piece that wraps around the bottom and buttons in the back. I love the way this looked, and it was super-easy. The skirt was a challenge...*all* that gathering...jeez! And just because I didn't want the turkey red chair to feel like the odd chair out, I covered 2 so it looks like they're supposed to be different from the others. Guess what she wants for Christmas? Covers for the other 6!!!


What Are They Teaching In Kindergarten These Days?

Oliver has suddenly tapped into his artistic side. However...and that is a BIG however...his inspiration seems to come when holding permanent marker, and with no paper in site, he draws on what is available. That may be the wall, the window, the furniture, the ivory upholstered chairs in my mother in laws formal dining room...just about anything.

Anyhoo...my mother in law suggested that he may be stressed out from going to school all day long. So since his school offers full or half-day kindergarten, I thought I'd ask him what he thought. Our brief conversation went like this:

Me: Oliver...is going to school all day, every day too much for you? Do you think you'd like to go half-day on some days?

Oliver: Sure...like Landon and Hunter D.? (the initial is because there is indeed, more than 1 Hunter in his class)

Me: Yes. Maybe you can go all day on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and half-day on Tuesday and Friday.

Oliver: Hmm...typical A/B pattern.

Me: Ummm...yea.


The Rules...According to Oliver

1. Don't leave the park without your shoes.

2. Don't leave the house without your slurpee...if you have one.

3. Don't hang your clothes up before you take them off. Otherwise you hang yourself up.

4. Don't swing the bat until the ball comes.



Steven hasn't said anything (yet), but I'm sure he thinks I'm crazy. I however, think it's a great idea. I've packed Linus and Oliver's clothes in individual ziploc bags. The reasons why I think this is practical are endless, but mainly it will make for a more peacful camping trip.

While I was packing I discovered Linus and Oliver "camping" in my closet with the lantern.

I made some travel washcloths by cutting up an old knit receiving blanket, zig-zagging and pinking around the edges.

It helps to pink over the garbage can.


Our New Home

Last weekend we headed out to the new house. I want to get everything cleaned before moving all of our things in. Steven insists that moving is simply "throwing everything in boxes and putting them on a truck". Funny, isn't he? We all know it's a little more involved than that. Luckily because we're in such a small space now, I'm pretty organized, but it's still a lot of work. So here are some pictures previewing our new space.

This is my favorite feature...A MUD ROOM! With 4 boys who are forever coming in the house covered in water, dirt, snow etc., this room is simply the best.

The kitchen offers lots more space than I'm used to. Cabinets galore...yay!

Dining Room

Living Room

Parlor/Study (Steven's Oasis)

My Sewing Room...needs wallpaper removal and a coat of paint, but LOTS of space for my machines, and I can finally have a cutting table! No more bending over the dinning room table tracing and cutting.

Here are the bedrooms. Noah and Peter could have each had their own, but quickly decided to continue sharing (neither wanted the small room). Small room or not, I think they're just used to it, and would miss eachother. We'll finally have a quest room! We have some paper removal and painting to do up here as well (except for the Master).

We have a great yard that's fenced-in, thank goodness! This is a photo of the overgrown Japanese Garden. I'll have lots of fun getting that cleaned out...there's a pond in there somewhere which right now is inhabitied by frogs, which of course, the boys think is great. Let's hope I don't find one in my bed!

We've found an excellent school for Noah and Oliver in Marshall. The Marshall Academy is a charter school about 20 minutes away, and is K-12, so I have only 1 stop! Noah will go from being 1 or 250 to 1 of 25, Oliver will just LOVE the kindergarten program, and they offer Latin...oh boy!

Our house is only 1 block from the main street in town, and we're within walking distance of the library, the park, and my in-laws. Steven and I may get a date night more often than once a year...woo hoo!! And of course, Kids-n-Stuff is right around the corner. It's Oliver's favorite thing about Albion, and I'm sure we'll be spending lot's of time there.

We have to be all settled before school starts, so we've got a busy summer ahead...off to do some packing.


This - n - That

I love getting hand-me-downs. This little lovely was given to me by my friend Anita who got a new one for Mother's Day.

This past weekend the boys practiced putting their tent up. We wanted to make sure that they would be able to do it alone. With 2 tents and a gazebo to erect...they're going to have a bit of work to do.

I created this little number (well one like it) for my cousin Amy who needed a baby shower gift with "no pink". It's created quite the buzz, and I've had a few other orders since...Thanks Amy!

I love when people put little girls (babies especially)in colors that aren't girly. To that end, I can't imagine why I still haven't sold this little number. I think I made this 2 years ago, and it's been in the store since. Someone buy this...please!

And look at the ruffles on the back of the bloomers!!!

What else....oh, I got a new camera for Mother's Day, and none too soon. I retired my old one to Noah, and the next day it went caput! These are a couple of my favorite pics taken with it so far.

Oh and speaking of patterns. I've just ordered this, and purchased yardage allowing Oliver and Linus to "help" pick out what they want. I can't wait for it to arrive and get going.

Oh, I hear Linus waking and calling for me...motherhood beckons!


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