Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

I was greeted at 7:15 this morning with a chipper "Happy Earth Day, Mom!" from Lauren before she was even out of bed. Later in the morning I was in her classroom teaching Junior Achievement and all of her fellow first-graders made sure to point out to me that "today is Earth Day!" (Side note...the lesson was about needs and wants, and when I told them we would be discussing two important words, someone said "I know - Earth and Day!" Um, no, but good try!)

So, many of you know that I recycle as much as possible and I make my own all-purpose cleaner. This is hardly a green-living household but we are making small efforts where we can. I have been researching compost bins and finally made a purchase today. I got the Envirocycle, which is a tumbler bin that also collects "compost tea" that one can use as a liquid fertilizer. It should arrive next week, so I will report more on the process then!
And finally, my kids have been anticipating Disney's "Earth" movie that came out today. I decided to take them to see it after school. It was great! It covered a large range of topics, from migration to global warming to season changes and even the simple life and death of animals. The cinematography was simply stunning and Reed, Lauren and I really enjoyed it. Grace, however, was more interested in sipping her lemonade and forcing me to take her to the potty. Twice. If you decide to go, it's probably best for the kindergarten and up crowd!

Tell me, did you do anything in honor of Earth Day today?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The shoe solution.

About eight or so years ago, we had one child. He was pretty small. And he had one pair of shoes. Life was easy.

Then came another child, a daughter, and although she too was small, she had more shoes than the first.

And yet another child came into our world, another daughter, and the shoes seemed to multiply. There were tennis shoes, and sandals, and slippers, and flip flops, and more sandals, and then brown boots and snow boots and black boots. Don't even get me started on the crocs. Now, these didn't all belong to the third child, so we won't blame her, but we're pretty sure that the fact that she was a girl had something to do with the deluge of shoes.

Thus, a problem. Where to put them all?

Our house may have a lot of closet space, but there is no space devoted to the taking-off and storing of shoes. We have tried many solutions, from a simple shelf to an overly-complicated over-the-door shoe rack (which required jimmy-rigging from a super ugly, yellow nylon rope). I was nearly at my wit's end a month ago, when, thanks to the ever-changing weather we had every shoe in the house piled by the door, from flip flops to snow boots.

So with high hopes I decided it was time to try to solve the problem again. This time I bought a ClosetMaid Cubicals unit, 4 squares high by 2 squares wide. I also bought one cube container for each person, thinking that everybody could dump their shoes in their own bin, then slide the bin into place.

And you wanna know what?

It is awesome. Life changing. (I know, there might be a few single or childless people out there reading this snickering and thinking, 'life changing? C'mon, you're being dramatic. Shoe storage that works isn't life changing.') ... Fine, snicker if you must but know that someday you just might have shoes coming out of your ears and you will realize that it really is a big, big deal! I do have fantasies of the next house having something like this...but in the meantime, this will do just fine!p.s. Men's shoes, size 13, definitely do NOT fit into the cubes. But, they do stack neatly on top or in one of the 3 open sections!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Coming soon.

New Michael Miller prints are on their way! I am hoping to get them in the next few days and will list them as soon as they come in. In the meantime, here is a sneak peek of just a few of them!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Old and new.


a family party. she is old, he is new. both were perfectly content to be together, giving the most striking sense of love, of family, of the passage of time.
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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Let me feature you!

The new fabric shop is doing well - thank you to everyone who has checked it out and even made a purchase or two! I am loving it, big time. I can't wait to continue adding more inventory, which is coming little by little.

Lately as I have been cutting lengths of fabric I keep wondering what cool projects you're all working on. Clothing? Bags? Quilts? I would LOVE to know what you're making with fabric you purchase from me, so I am asking you to send me your photos of completed projects (or even projects in the works!) and I will feature you and your photos here on my blog. If you have an Etsy shop, well, even better because I will link back to your store as well!

I hope I hear from some of you soon! I would really enjoy this being a regular blog feature. And, if it happens to grow I might do a Flickr group as well as a feature. So send me those photos, people, and let me know what yer makin'!

Monday, April 6, 2009

9 year-old musings.

There are days that I have to stop and remind myself that Reed is almost 9 years old. How did that happen? Today was one of those days, yet it hit me from the "wow he's really growing up" aspect rather than "what happened to my baby?"

There were a couple of things that touched this off today. First, we were shopping at the mall - who knew shopping with Reed and Lauren, sans preschooler Grace - could be fun? We were in a kids clothing store and I was looking at a polo shirt. Brown, with stripes, etc. The conversation went thus:

Him: Mom, that shirt is sweet!
Me: What?
Him: I said it was sweet!
Me: You really like this?
Him: Yeah, it's cool.
Me: So, you want me to buy it?
Him: Yeah. (insert cool head-nod here)
Me: Um, OK, but since when did you start deciding which clothes were cool?

Then, awhile later (while looking for dress slacks for Kirk, I'm sure the kids were having a blast) Reed started another conversation;

Him: Mom, there's some 'Eagle' store that's supposed to be cool.
Me: American Eagle?
Him: Yeah, that's the one! It's cool.
Me: How do you know about American Eagle?
Him: My small group leader at church. He got a gift card to that store. Can I buy stuff there?
Me: No, it's for teens. And adults, trying to look like teens. I don't think anything would fit you yet.
Him: Well, when I'm big enough will you take me shopping there?"

Really, this is all huge because my boy generally could care less about what he looks like or what he's wearing (gray camo pants and a kelly green polo are right up his alley), so for him to suddenly be struck by clothing that's cool...well, I think my guy is growing up. A bit.

(Longest post ever, I know, but there's more!)

So then, at lunch, he completely cracked me up by doing a dead-on impersonation of Aunt Bethany from Christmas Vacation. It was totally out of the blue when he said, "Clark, is this the airport?" and I about snorted my tea out my nose. He has apparently memorized the whole Christmas dinner scene, complete with Uncle Louis screaming at Aunt Bethany about saying grace ("Grace? She died 30 years ago!") which then leads into Bethany saying "I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the United States of America..." That movie makes me laugh, every time...I was just not quite prepared to have Reed appreciate some of the finer points as well!

And, finally, in the car on the way home from swimming lessons, he nonchalantly asked me, "Mom, is there such a thing as adult diapers?"

Oh, I am still chuckling over that one!

How much funny stuff will the next nine years bring me?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Cast on.


My favorite needles, Number 10 bamboo, have been sadly empty this winter. I have wanted to start a new knitting project for ages and have gone into the yarn store hoping to hit paydirt - but I always end up leaving empty-handed. No solid inspiration and no specific project have called my name, thus no yarn has whispered "buy me!" when I have idled in front of it. So, it was with surprise and delight that I was contacted through Jenny Hofer Designs awhile ago by a client wanting a Victorian Neckwarmer. She knew which yarn she wanted and it turns out it could only be found in one shop located in the Pacific Northwest. It is beautiful stuff! A silk/merino blend that is so soft and is knitting up nicely. It won't take long to complete, but I have been happy to have a reason to cast on, especially with such a gorgeous fiber. And for a day like today (40's, windy, snow on the way) - well, knitting is a nice way to pass the time!
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Thursday, April 2, 2009

Thursday afternoon.

a spring dress. over winter pants and shirt. with sister's shoes. sometimes galloping around with a pony on a stick, sometimes sitting quietly and trying to brush pony's hair. Yippee-yi-yay! she yells. and I just sit and wonder if the quiet will bother me next year.
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