Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas Gift Inventory
Jeff kept joking about "Ari-anta's Workshop," which took up our whole dining room for the two weeks before Christmas. We were eating our meals on the floor in the living room. I had so much fun though, and we were both pleasantly surprised by all that was produced:

7 felted wool hats
4 pairs of felted wool pants
3 necklaces
1 pair of earrings
4 packages of home made quince paste (paired with local cheese)
4 bottles of infused vodka
1 bottle of aftershave-- I was infusing one with frankincense and myrrh, and then did my homework and found out it was poisonous to drink, so Luke got a really unique, great smelling bottle of aftershave!
1 watercolor
12 individual CD mixes with original collage art covers
2 Christmas garlands
2 Wool stuffed animals
1 scarf and mitten set

I really should have taken more pictures, but it's nice to at least document by listing. As I already said, it was a lot of fun. I am glad to have the dining room back (once the floors are done, that is!) and to be able to move on to other projects, like getting rid of more stuff.

I am currently working on a slew of childrens' wool pants to take to a local consignment store, to see if they would like to sell them in their "locally made" section. I have them in stripes and really cute colors, some with little embellishments like heart shaped patches, so there is a range of possible looks. But I need your help-- what should I call these pants? A local artist that uses recycled wool already uses the name "woolies" so that is out. Any ideas? Help!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year, everyone!
I am hoping to post a series of updates and summaries in the next couple of days.
To get us started, Jeff and I started ripping out our carpet in our living and dining rooms this afternoon, and were delighted to find some nice, rustic fir floorboards! However, we were dismayed to find that linoleum and had been glued tight to them throughout both rooms. Still, we hope to have the whole project finished on New Year's Day. I'll show some photos of the triumph then!

Monday, December 17, 2007


Ever since making these for Amelia, I have been fascinated by all of the options I have for using recycled wool from thrift stores, and have been doing a lot of little experiments as Christmas presents in the last couple of days.

I made Amelia a little set of hat, scarf and mittens. She had just woken up from a nap when I tried them on her, so the pictures are pretty funny and hopefully don't reflect her final opinion.

Oh, and I went ahead and patched a hole while I was at it!

I made a little hat and mitt set for a newborn, and I am trying to sell it on CL just to test the waters for future potential.

My favorite so far is this little doggy doll.

I am having so much fun making these things that I have found myself fantasizing about selling them and making some honest-to-goodness money! If not, I will enjoy giving them to the many little ones around me!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Feeding the Birds!

I took Amelia to the park this afternoon, even though it was under 40 degrees. We had an old loaf of bread to get rid of, so I thought it would be fun to go feed the fowl over there. Amelia has a soft spot in her heart for birds and ducks, and has enjoyed visiting them there before. However, I had no idea what kind of flock we would attract! I think the birds (are they herons?) recognize bagged loaves of bread, because as soon as we got out of the car they all landed around us and walked with us to the water's edge. I wish I had a video camera-- it got so crazy! The birds were all around us and flying overhead, squawking loudly. I was throwing pieces of bread up in the air, and the birds would hover and catch each piece-- it's a wonder we didn't get pooped on. The ducks were also eager, but clearly bullied by the birds. One bold duck got out of the water and stayed right next to us and took bread from my hand for a while. Amelia was also wanting to eat the bread, but I was nervous that some critter would take it from her and scar her for life. Later we moved to the bank and tried to give the ducks more of a shot at it.

These are just some of the birds, one side of the circle that enclosed us.

Amelia joining the feeding frenzy.

I love these action shots, especially the one below of the bird snatching the bread out of a "too slow" duck's beak!

I let Amelia crawl all over the ground, even though it was covered in bird turd-- but I drew the line at picking them up!

We'll have to do it again soon...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

One of those Special Days...

It's only noon, and today is already one of those "special" days-- in more sense than one. I'll let a phone message I left for Jeff this morning do the 'splainin'.
"Hi Jeff. Happy anniversary. Thanks so much for the card and flowers this morning-- that was really nice. OK. A few things happened this morning, and I really need you to call me. First of all, when I was getting ready to leave this morning, I realized that Amelia had gone into the bathroom, found a razor and cut her thumb. I cleaned her up, put on a band- aid and went to Lili's for breakfast. When I got there, A had taken the band- aid off, and there was blood all over her and the carseat. The cafe was closed, but someone was there and let me in to use the bathroom and get Amelia cleaned up. I also realized that I didn't have my house keys, just the ones to the car we're borrowing-- we're locked out of the house. So then I went to a diner nearby to eat, and as I was ordering just now, I realized that I don't have any of my debit cards or ID or cash. It looks like they'll feed me anyway, but please call me back so we can go home somehow."

Twelve "missed" calls, a very leaky bloody band- aid and concerns about hemophilia later, we were still locked out and cashless, worrying about my cell phone battery dying, with a poopy diaper and no wipes. After quite a few more phonecalls and Joy's over-the-phone assistance, I called J's classroom and met him halfway to get the keys. Whew! The day's only half over, and it's already one of my most memorable special occasions!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Making lemonade...

I accidentally shrank one of my very few wool sweaters a little while ago. I was so upset, but also determined to put the felted wool to good use. None of Amelia's pants are very warm, so I decided to try and sew her some little wool pants. I think they came out really cute, and they were a super-quick project. I also made a fun scarf as a gift from the same sweater, but neglected to take picures of that one.



Photo Summary of Thanksgiving Dinner

One of my greatest loves in life is a long meal with people I like. The longer, the better, and five to ten people is the perfect number. Evidence of a nice time had, plus a little peek at our dining room.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I thought I'd give you an idea of what she is up to.

Her obsession with babies continues, and she watches slideshows of herself and other kids we've photographed for at least half an hour each day. We are working on recognizing the difference between a baby and girls, boys, ladies and men-- she'd like to think we're all just overgrown babies.

She also thinks of the word "baby" when it comes to showing affection. She'll pick my shirt off of the floor and begin cradling and snuggling it, tenderly murmuring "Baby. MMMhhmmmm." The other day, she saw me resting my head on Jeff's shoulder, and got a sweet look on her face as she said "Mama. Baby." She finds things lying around the house and tackles them with hugs, falling to her kness and putting it under her head on the ground, hoping someone will notice and give her a back rub while she snuggles. She is very sweet and gentle with other kids, especially the very little ones. It is wonderful to see that she has a tender little heart, and the affection she shows me always gives me a little boost.

Although she is still incredibly outgoing and socially confident, she reserves some very clingy behavior for me at home, hanging onto my pajama pants and pulling them down in an effort to climb up. She feels that it is her right to be held at all times, and patiently shouts "UP" repeatedly kind of like how me might speak to a clueless puppy, until I either concede or make her lose her train of thought.

She learns a couple of new words each day, and is always trying to figure out how things work. She asks about her Papa (Jeff) a lot, and I usally say "Papa's at work." Once in a while I overhear her saying "Papa, work" in a knowing tone. I am personally amused that she is learning to say please (peeth) at the beginning of a request and thank you (doo!) when it is granted, like a little trained monkey. Wiping her mouth with a cloth napkin at the end of a meal also falls into this category of oblivious good manners.

We are constantly amazed by the depth of her personality as we watch her play, entertain us, show affection, express disappointment or anger, cry out of sympathy for another crying child, or give us the "stink eye." We are enjoying her more and more!

I'll put a little video on the end.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Back in business!

Wow, I can't believe it's been over a month since we had internet. I will have plenty to post about, but here are the headlines that I haven't been able to share:

Thanksgiving was nice, and I enjoyed all of the work. Kind of an inaugeration for our house.

Amelia took her first steps last week, finally, but has done little to follow up since then. However, she does have about 60 words.

It snowed last weekend!

We bought a Christmas tree, and our house is nice and cozy with the seasonal decor.

In the last week and a half, we have had people over for five different events here, as well as a house guest for several days-- whew!

I will share some pictures and more details this week.