Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sharing a love for the handmade ~

Four months ago, I was introduced to Etsy. Little did I know how quickly I would get attached to the many things it offers. I found my values to be the same as many of the buyers and sellers on Etsy, the love for the handmade. The handmade movement has made a great impact in my life over these last four months. It has changed the way I gift for my children and to others as well. It has shown me that something handmade, whether by me or someone else, is something to be valued so much more than something store bought.

There may be some of you who have never heard of Etsy. Please allow me to introduce you to this wonderful site through my own contribution. I’ve now opened an Etsy shop under Sew Inspiring, the link appears at the top of the right hand sidebar. My smock pattern is now available and other handmade items will readily appear in my shop as I make them. This has been a wonderful gift that has come into my life and I am so excited to share it with you too.

Welcome and thank you for supporting the handmade movement!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

My favorite 8 ~

Came through the front door this morning after going to the grocery store for tonight’s dinner and the downstairs was dark. I already had an idea of what I wanted to post today on my blog. Where was all the light that usually comes through the back of the house? ~ With the change of season also brings change of light, something that can be a big deal when you're looking to take that special picture.

As I walk around the house snapping pictures, I start counting 1…2….3 and this is what I ended up with: a compilation of my favorite things.

1. my vintage stride rite shoes (from my childhood) that are 32 years old that Elise can now wear. I get so many compliments on them when we’re out.

2. my daughter Lena’s birthday present that I made her – a log cabin pillow which I adore. You know the one she was not so thrilled about that I wrote about here.

3. My children's sillouettes ~ this one was made of Jonmichael when he was 7 1/2 months old.

4. the birthday banners I made recently for Jonmichael and Lena’s birthdays. Elise asks everyday when her birthday is, actually it's more like "today my birthday?" since she saw two birthdays in a week's time. She's also been promised a mama made banner on her birthday in December. She'll have to wait though . . .

5. my basil plants

6. my pumkin Hunter Wellies – just waiting for that good rain to wear them!

7. knitted baby socks that I seem to be working so much on these days . . .

8. Lena’s birthday present to her brother – totally unprompted yet very touching!!!
Although my most precious things are in my heart and can not be seen on a picture, these are a reflection of who I am and what I love so dearly today.

Happy Monday!! ~

Saturday, September 27, 2008

celebrating seven ~

turning 7, originally uploaded by homebirthmama.

After dinner we did a little celebrating by lighting the birthday ring, something that is a special time for each of our children. I try to pick out ornaments that reflect each child's interest and personality.

{For those of you who are interested, the ring came from Nova Natural and ornaments from a combination of Wooden Wagon and Nova. I love the versatility of this style of ring. I usually leave one section of it in the playroom with ornaments of that season. }

Friday, September 26, 2008

another birth to celebrate ~

jonmichael's 7th birthday, originally uploaded by homebirthmama.

We're doing a bit of celebrating with our first born son today. He's enjoying every minute being a 7 year old boy. He just said to me minutes ago, just the two of us sitting at the table together, "this is just perfect, me and you getting to spend this time together right here." Ahh it melted my heart ~

I think it is just perfect too!
Happy Birthday love!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

She wears a smock by her name ~

Dittles Shirt Smock, originally uploaded by homebirthmama.

She had the best day filling her smock pocket full of rocks, dancing around twirling ~ staring at herself in the mirror, grinning with glee ~ there is something special about this smock, it fills my child with laughter and fun. It's been a great project for me and I'm so happy that soon I'll be able to share it with you all.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

consulting the list ~

consulting the list
I was running out of ideas for the week and up against a night of grocery shopping and a budget to stand by. I usually make a menu on the side of my grocery list with one large meal to eat for several nights scattered during the week (not consecutive), and then smaller meals in between. This afternoon, with a hungry tummy, my mind couldn’t think of what else to have except for the lentil chicken stew, and meatloaf italiano already on the weekly list. So I decided to consult "the list" which is a running list I made a while back of different recipes that our family likes. The list is categorized (somewhat) and was surprised to see (not really) that desserts had the most entries.
new breakfast recipe for our family
But I was happy to add one more to my repertoire of breakfast dishes, one that I made on Saturday for Lena’s birthday ~ homemade cinnamon rolls~ . They were delicious, but next time I will make it with a different icing, one with just powered sugar and milk instead of the cream cheese icing the recipe called for. They were still yummy and definately a keeper, especially with my husband's comment "how did you make these?" as we all sat down at the table. That made it worth the trouble of staying up til' 1:30am that morning waiting for the dough to rise for the rolls to be ready to be baked at 7:00am. Yes in-deedy!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Lena's birthday

Lena's birthday
The day started out with breakfast and presents from mom and dad. The felt birthday crown and apron she loved, the pillow sadly got a sour reaction "That's not a very exciting gift!" Ugh, the hours that went into it, I know one day she'll fall in love with it . . .
Lena's birthday party
We started the afternoon birthday party with a Montessori birthday tradition with the Earth and Sun demonstration honoring Lena coming into this world and teaching how each year she has gone around the sun another time. As she walked around the candle which represents the sun and held the globe which represents Earth, I narrated which year she was in and what her accomplishments were that year. It's one of my favorite traditions we do at birthdays ~ it gives me a chance to reminisce about my child growing older and our children are able to hear over and over their story as well. We also use pictures and pass them around to everyone sitting outside the circle during the presentation. To close out the presentation, she blows out the candle.
Lena's birthday party
The unveiling ~ the pinata turned out fantastic! That was one tough pinata, it wouldn't break!! Luckily, I had left the hole open on top and finally poured the candy out after three rounds of hits ~ the pinata string did break so it looked genuine.
Happy 5th birthday my sweet!

Friday, September 19, 2008

preparations ~

pinata making, originally uploaded by homebirthmama.

In preparing for Lena's party on Saturday we have had afternoons of piñata making – piñata from scratch, all the way down to the paper-mache paste which interestingly enough was the easiest part:

½ cup flour mixed with two cups of cold water. On the stove, heat up an additional two cups of water to boiling, pour the flour/cold water mixture into the boiling water, bring back to boil, take off heat and add 3 tablespoons of sugar.

Waiting for the paper mache mixture to cool . . .if you’re wanting to do this as a family project, have the paste made ahead of time, the kids were bummed that we had to wait for the paste to cool. Lesson learned . . .still waiting . . . also start about 4 days before the event. The glue (each layer) takes about 24 hours to dry and there are three layers . . .

more to come . . .

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

in the mail basket

in the mail basket, originally uploaded by homebirthmama.

my pattern is 90% finished, it's in the mail basket waiting to be mailed to my tester . . . I can't breathe a sigh of relief yet, still much to do . . . a few tweaks here and there and opening of my etsy store. Stay tuned!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

ready for gifting

ready for gifting, originally uploaded by homebirthmama.

mission complete . . . now the hard part ~ letting go! One more pair of knitted booties to be gifted to a baby girl and brand new pair of freshly handknitted socks for a baby boy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

while making dinner . . .

last night was taco night at our house . . . I turned out of the kitchen while making dinner and found Lena tying up her doll, Claire, in this chair. I love the thoughtfulness of tying her mouth closed too so she couldn't speak.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

today's a very special day!

Today marks the first day that both my girls are in preschool together. Big plans are in the works this fall on these special mornings . . . more pattern tweaking, purging, and lots of trips to goodwill . . .

Monday, September 8, 2008

road knitting ~ new adventure

road knitting, originally uploaded by homebirthmama.

more knitting on the road. . .
New adventure ~ this will be a baby sock when finished. It's from a pattern I picked up at the Outer Banks as well as new yarn ~ made with soysilk fibers nonetheless, wool and Chitin (fiber from shrimp and crab shells). The yarn is very soft and I love this colorway ~ perfect for all my friends with new baby boys! I was struck when I saw this pattern at the knitting shop, it makes the sweetest baby/toddler socks I have ever seen! It made a fun (and challenging) road project on the way to very special birthday celebration yesterday in NC!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

jonmichael at the shore

jonmichael at the shore, originally uploaded by homebirthmama.

Another "one eye" picture!! I had no idea I had an "eye" for taking pictures such as this and this one (ha ha), but I do think they are rather cool.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


glueing, originally uploaded by homebirthmama.

Yesterday I spent some time with Elise (2 1/2) at the craft table, just gluing bits of torn construction paper to a brown paper lunch bag, it was the perfect activity for her. She loved it and did a great job and was proud of her finished project. With Lena, who is 4 ½, I did the same thing, but instead numbered her brown bag and asked her to glue down bits of paper in order of the numbers. I have found that simple projects like these have been far more rewarding and creative at this age than more organized art activities such as coloring books. It seems the simpler the activity, the better.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

December 23, 2004

boyhood, originally uploaded by homebirthmama.

This little boy started first grade today. This picture represents how in some ways I still see him – giggling at 2 years old with two “pappies”, one in his mouth and the other in his hand for close keeping. Bedtimes were always fun mommy times for us. This past summer marked many changes for him, all new permanent teeth growing in the front of his mouth, longer hairstyle, exploring more with their friends socially instead of being wrapped up in the “me world with mommy and daddy.” I feel like he is turning a new leaf, he is growing up, yet he’s happy and excited about learning and living. I’m happy for him. Though there are days that I wish I could give him back those two pappies he gave me on that next Mother’s Day (in ’05) in a blue box with tears in his eyes, turning around after I had taken the box from him and running back to his Daddy. I wish I could have given them back and said “please stay little a little while longer.” That was his first big step (and mine) into this role of growing up boy-hood, a moment I can never forget. I’ll continue with him on his journey of “growing up” and hope I never forget these quiet fun moments he and I have shared at bedtime when all that mattered was having his two pappies, one in his mouth and one in his hand, his lambie, and a kiss from mom and dad.

Monday, September 1, 2008

a week ago today ~

at the beach, originally uploaded by homebirthmama.

I love everything about this photo, the different color of blues encircling the picture, the way my daughter is looking down, the grains of sand on her neck, the way the wind is caught in her hair. Here of late, I get lucky with a shot like this, it says so many things and captures exactly how I see her, a joyful soul enjoying the last days of summer. She has no idea that the end of summer is here, that soon we’ll be packing up our summer clothes in the attic and putting our fall clothes into our dressers and exchanging our sandals for warmer socks and shoes. It will all happen like baby steps for her, she will hardly notice until the next season fully arrives with colorful fallen leaves.