Friday, August 29, 2008

In honor of nie nie let's gather some "I love my life" posts. Simple, post on your blog under the title "I love my life" and fill in the rest. Let me know about your post via email or in the comments. I'll gather up all Love Life Links for a big juicy post next Thursday. We are all in this together, we should never forget that. Good? Good.

I Love My Life

There are some mornings that Malcolm wakes singing. Singing! Lately it has been "Day-O". In the 1st private moments of his day he wastes no time. He wakes, he feels joy, and he sings. Mornings can be gifts that way, a fresh start, new air, another day for feeling, thinking, doing, singing. I think Raffi sings to adults as much as to children: "All I really need is a song in my heart, food in my belly, and love in my family."

Everyday I am stretched. There are days when I resist. Those are painful times.
There are days when I stretch, release, open, breathe, listen, & share. On those days I can feel love, on those days I can give love.

We all get to taste different fruit. I still have a bitter-sweet taste lingering in my mouth from a summer that began with a pregnancy and wound down with a miscarriage. Summer? Where did summer go? It feels like it was a blur of expectations and excitement, and then grounding reality.

This is what I've been telling myself, this is what I've been doing: Take a breath, stretch, clean out the refrigerator. Cook some good food, turn on some good music, take good naps. Rub your husband's shoulders, paint rooms, watch some Olympics, read a good book together. Set up your space, organize your energies, make your work and your play welcoming. Call your mom, change the laundry, pot some plants. Change the laundry again, clean up breakfast, fold the laundry, try to put it all away before it's time to wash again. Write letters, be with friends, go on a date and hold hands. And what about that sweet boy! Smell his forehead, read a story, sing a song, build with the blocks, watch for garbage trucks, take a walk, pick up sticks, listen for birds, get out the drums, make a little music. Oh, and pray, don't forget to pray. Sleep at night, rest, reset, and wake - singing - in the morning.

Sometimes I jump rope in my kitchen. My neighbors probably can see me through the window, probably think I'm a little strange. I'm just trying to keep a song in my heart.

I love my life.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

nie nie day

I've been out bid already, isn't that wonderful? But, I did buy some of this fabulous balloon fabric from a little goodness where all proceeds go to the Nielson Fund. Awesome.
I've also got a little card that I'm sending their way.
If you'd like to send your well wishes here is the address:

c/o Stephanie & Christian Nielson
Mari Copa County Hospital
2601 East Roosevelt St.
Phoenix, AZ 85008

nie nie day & "I love my life" posts

It's Nie Nie Day. Spread the word and celebrate with all the amazing auctions up plus 3 more hosted by Design Mom. Reading Nie Nie Dialogues you can tell she is someone who truly loves life and adores her family. Presently she and her husband are in a long recovery from a plane crash. How wonderful that all the money from the auctions will go straight to a fund for their family. Sweet. The support out there is swelling. So in the spirit of Nie Nie, love your life, love your family, and celebrate.
I think all the silent auctions go through the weekend, so you'll want to check back often.

In honor of nie nie let's gather some "I love my life" posts. Simple, post on your blog under the title "I love my life" and fill in the rest. Let me know about your post via email or in the comments. I'll gather up all Love Life Links for a big juicy post next Thursday. We are all in this together, we should never forget that. Good? Good.

Monday, August 25, 2008

metal objects


{metal wall mount organizer $3.00 at the Greek Festival Flea Market}

Dave and I got out on a real date Saturday. The weekend before Malcolm joined us at The Feast in Little Italy, but, the Greek Festival was just for the two of us, hand in hand, sharing a Baklava Sunday - how romantic. We found some great treasures at the extensive flea market in the basement of the Greek church. We had some good laughs in the "electronic room" where they were selling HUGE VCR players (with dials & all) and packs of the old school floppy disks along with out-dated computers and heavy "portable" lights (like for camping). That's where I spotted the metal wall mount, I instantly saw potential. My guess is that it was used for time cards? It weighs a ton. I wish we had a scale so I could tell you how much. Built to last, right? Anyway, I think it will be perfect for sorting/filing a few things that I want to have out but not stacked on my desk. Because it's metal I'll be able to play around with some magnets, oh the fun! I'm going to have Dave hang it for me because he has special skills like that. I love how it looks paired with the small etching and gray mat, a Joseph Alleman original.


{metal mini planters, lost in the garage, now found, my beginner's attempt at an herb window sill}

Friday, August 22, 2008

it could be my all seasons trick-or-treat bag...

Ta-da! The tote is finished. You may remember it from a post way back, almost a year ago. It sure feels good to finish. I got to be a little bit of a perfectionist on this project, I pulled it out and started over at least seven times before I was familiar enough with the stitch pattern to only go back to my mistake. Mistakes, of course, that would only bother me. The way I could see if the vertical zig-zags had lost their zig, I couldn't have that. But it is for me so why not make it to please me? I used it today with my grocery shopping - it got quite stretchy with apples in it but it held up under the pressure. I'll be experimenting with it to find my favorite use. Taking a decent picture was tricky. I took a bunch, but I still feel the color isn't true. If you could hold it, you would see that it is a perfect autumnal shade. Knit with Mission Falls cotton in a color that has been discontinued (it's a good thing I had enough).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

paint chip bookmark how to:

1) Gather paint chips of all colors (free at your local hardware/paint shop).
2) Cut, embellish, and stick in a book of your choosing.
{I like to leave some of the paint color names showing: morning sun, refresh, cloudless, splashy.}

It's that time again, time to start up the book clubs after a little summer break. The air is changing to that magical mix of summer heat and autumnal cool. I'm not one for huge summer reading lists. I just don't seem to get much reading done in the summer. But now, now that it is all sharpen your pencils and get back to school time, I am so in the mood. Our little neighborhood book club met last night. We talked books way past bed time and put together our monthly reads for the coming 10 months. It was so much fun, I really am a sucker for such gatherings. For me book club nurtures both my introvert self, the one who wants to curl up with a good read, and my extrovert self, the one who wants to connect with other women and share ideas that go beyond child care, home repairs, work, or weather.

Our book for September is The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, a book that I have read and wouldn't mind picking up again. It is a memoir but reads like fiction. The other book club I read with is doing a little Harry Potter marathon. We'll discuss books 1-4 for September and 5-7 for October. My one summer read was one Dave and I read aloud together. All the Way Home: Building a Family in a Falling-Down House by David Giffels. Within the 1st paragraphs Dave was moved to tears of laughter. To say the book really struck a chord with us is almost an understatement. It felt like everything we have been going through just on a much larger, falling down scale. It made me grateful for things that I hadn't thought of before, like the fact that our house isn't infused with the smell of cat urine.

I think I'll be adding a side bar of books that I currently reading for myself, for book clubs, with Dave, and to the Boy. That way this blog doesn't turn into book review, but you can get a peek at what might be stacked around the house, waiting on my night stand, slipped in my bag, or rocking in a chair. Does that interest anyone?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Yesterday, "Kaystar", my roomie from college, sent me this email and said I could share. "Stashio" is apparently the name that stuck to the bear because I made sure Kaystar knew I knit him up with Manos del Uruguay cotton colored: "pistachio". You see she had (and apparently still has) a BIG thing for pistachio ice cream. So way back in 2005 I worked up this little pistachio bear for her new, sweet, baby boy and sent it away.

So Sarah,
I am not sure if I have told you how much Anson LOVES his "Stashio" you made him, he sleeps with it, he takes it to church, it is his best friend... Well a few months ago.... Anson LOST his Stashio. It was horrible! We looked all over for it! I tore the house APART!! I even got online to try and find somewhere to buy them, or where I could learn how to make them my self!! It was stressful! Soon we found him a little dog, and it seemed to do the trick... YEA.... but last weekend Drew took Anson camping and in his camping back pack, there was STASHIO!!!! Anson was so happy, he would not let it go! He even did a happy dance! So I thought I would share that with you, and let you know that you gave my little boy a HUGE piece of joy! Thanks Sarah! I love you! I hope all is well, I love looking at your blog and seeing you cute family! Love you so much.

The boy is big now and doing a little happy dance. I would love to see that. To bad we live so far away. Anyway, thanks for the update on "Stashio" Kaystar, it made me smile.

If you're wondering, the bear pattern is from Knitting for Baby by Melanie Falick and Kristen Nicholas. It knits up pretty quick. Now that I've de-stashed I might make some more bear friends.

I bet you want to touch. This yarn is soooo soft.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008

jump rope

Did you know I've taken up jump roping? I like it both outdoors in the fresh air or indoors (yes I can pull it off in my kitchen) with a little music. So imagine my happiness when I came across this joyful jump rope fabric from sproutdesign. I LOVE it! I want to hold it. I want to sew it. I'm already imagining the many ways I could put a bit of it to good use. Don't we need a jump rope pillow in this house? M'boy, would you like me to sew some jump ropers in a quilt for you? I thought so.


Where has this summer gone? Really, it feels like a blur. Now that I can feel the air changing from Summer into Fall, this little thank you post is way over due. Way back in JUNE I won this wonderful Design Mom Random Giveaway featuring a Binth Baby Book from Tiny McSmall AND a handmade doll (I went for the cat-doll) of my picking from Persimmon & Pink. I feel like the word "won" is a little out of place here. I did nothing put place a little comment. Now, those Olympians I've been watching, they have to really work for their wins. It makes me feel like I should put on some running shoes or something. My happy packages arrived at my doorstep and I did a little dance for each one. I know, I know, I am a lucky one.

Thank You Tiny McSmall, the book is beautiful. Thank You Persimmon & Pink, my cat is full of charm & character. THANK YOU Design Mom, did I mention... you rock!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


(I had plans to post this earlier this week, but I've been sucked in by more wallpaper take down and hung over by late night Olympic watching. Since I started it up again, the wallpaper take down has become a bit of an addiction, and there is always more...)

Little did I know, but, I have a small fortune of yarn. Slowly gathered over the past 5 years of my knitting life. Shades of wool, cotton, silk, and linen. It was all stashed away, some of it tangled in a horrible nest, in a large plastic storage bin. Every time I opened the bin in search of the right yarn it was like I was feeding the yarn-ness-monster. It was neither accessible nor pretty and I had no firm idea of what or how much was in my possession. As I was working through The Tangle (I'll spare you the picture of that, let's keep things pretty here), the revelation was "How can you possibly make anything if you don't know what you already have?" Ah, yes, true, true.

Can I tell you how FUN it was to fill this wall of 30 boxes? It wasn't just fun, it was thrilling. I worked on it in little blocks of time throughout the day. In the morning I began with the yarn and as I picked up the soft red flaxen wool, remnant of my first (hmm, I guess only) knitted sweater for myself, it just seemed right that it should belong top left. The rainbow of yarn and odds and ends naturally followed. Color coding the rows allowed for a certain dynamic of organized randomness, giving homes to things that would otherwise be floating around the house or else in a stash. I'm coming to dislike that word "stash".
{*Stash: a collection of materials: yarn, fabric, etc., piled in big plastic storage bins, sometimes mistaken as trash.
*Not a stash (there has got to be a word for this, help me out): a collection of materials: yarn, fabric, etc.; wound, folded, stacked, and placed on shelves where you know what you have, pieces can easily be retrieved and put away = accessible, and is pleasing and inspiring to look at.}
Stashes for me always turn into horrible messes, blocked energy, blocked possibility. So yes, the dissolving of my stashes and filling these cubbies was my idea of fun. The kind of fun had by a young child setting up a doll house. "Let's see, this bit of ribbon, it is blue, I shall place it on this bit of blue fabric. And these orange paint chips? (I'm kind of a klepto when it comes to paint chips, it's a good thing they're free.) They now belong in this orange cubby with this orange brick." Very satisfying.

My newly filled shelf reminds me of my love affair with color. I think that's why I took up knitting. That's why I filled my teenage years with FIMO clay. I want to hold, I want to touch, I want to shape color.

Monday, August 11, 2008

plans for tonight

pay bills
watch some Olympics

Friday, August 8, 2008

"let's play!"

When Boy is ready to make some music he energetically proclaims "let's play!" And, did you know that Ovaltine canisters make excellent drums?
We'll be out for more summer music tonight. Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

ready to fill

I may not have known it till now, but I think I have always wanted, deep in my soul to fill a wall full of cubbies with things that make me smile: yarn, stationary, small books, notebooks, fabric squares, pretty boxes, pincushions... Thirty little spaces to fill. It's from and old school and I bought it from my neighbor before her garage sale. Dave figured a genius way to mount it to the wall. I just cleaned it. I'm giddy about it. What does that say about me I wonder. By the way, I LOVE my white room. It fills with light just like I had imagined.

So I'm curious, how would you fill it?

Friday, August 1, 2008

the cook book that makes me happy about food

Way back, May 1st to be exact, how lucky I was - and all that eat from my hands - that I was in the car listening to the Diane Rehm Show. Her guests for that hour were Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift talking about their new book "The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper". These lovely ladies and their radio show, The Splendid Table, were new to me. That has all been rectified. Listening to that radio conversation all about food, from women who LOVE to eat and cook (you could hear it just in the way they shaped their words, how they said "extra virgin olive oil" and "Parmigiano-Reggiano") and who made it sound so enjoyable and easy, I knew their book would be my Mother's Day gift to myself. With excitement and a little uncertainty I delved into the recipes with weekly meal plans and grocery list. The results have been delicious. Dave has never been so happy about a gift I bought for myself. The quality of our meals has taken off in leaps and bounds and our spice cupboard is expanding to include turmeric and coriander. Thanks to podcasts of their show I can now play catch up and I listen while making dinner or painting walls. Very entertaining, full of flavor, curiosity, inspiration, and creativity. Have you ever heard about a skirted cheese burger? or how to build your own oven?? Well, then you must start listening. Your mouth with water.