Saturday, December 24, 2011

Better late than never

Too late to give to the kids' teachers or friends at work, but just in time for Santa Clause

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I also made a pillowcase

All of our couch cushions were looking a little ratty.  And we inherited a bunch of kilim pillow cases from my dad which are beautiful to look at but way too scratchy to lean against (let alone rest your head on).  So I thought I would make some.  I finished the one and then moved on to other things (it is Christmas ya know) and now I have a big pile of fabric slated for pillow cases and a bunch of still-ratty looking couch pillows.  Oh well. 

And one small gripe: I am finding it very hard to get into the holiday spirit when it is 60 degrees and rainy. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

I sold some dolls...

At a craft show in my hood. 
So I think I'll make some more...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The baby sleeps for hours in the jogger

Running makes me feel great, be healthier and have more energy.  Why oh why is it so hard to make myself do it when it is so obviously the answer to almost all my problems?  Anyone?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween and Claudia turned 3

 A pirate, a vampire bat and a cat set out with their grandmother to go trick or treating.
 Who doesn't love a marching band?
The trading--"Claudia that's really good.  It's chocolate with rice crispies in it.  You'll want to keep that."  Thank goodness for big brothers.

My my where does the time go?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mammals learn

Al is fond of telling me this on occasions when I repeat the same stupid thing I've done before (usually involves late night sewing and broken sewing machine needles).  This is the result of another high-stakes baking episode.  I don't know why I keep doing this to myself, except that perhaps this mammal is hoping to learn to bake rather than learning to go to Metropolitan Bakery to buy cupcakes for Penelope's birthday party that is really the labor day block party in our alley ('Look how many people came to wish you happy birthday honey--people you don't even know!').

Suffice it to say that the 'Boston Cream Pie' Cupcakes in Martha Stewart's cupcake cookbook looked a little different...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday morning

3 kids dressed, fed, brushed and dropped off in 3 different locations (check).
2 lunches made and delivered with correct children to correct location (check)
1 emergency lunch made and delivered late to 1 child (check)
1 baby neither brushed nor fed nor dressed until 10:30, after all of the above had occurred (thank you mellow Adrian)
1 cat found (thank you to all the friends, neighbors and strangers who helped us find him)
2 hours until kid pick-ups start...
School year '11-'12...bring it on!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Have you seen this cat?

If you have seen him around West Philly, please let me know via the comments.  His name is Hickory and Diego is really missing him

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


A much-needed break from Philadelphia summer weather.  An hour spent in the Lincoln tunnel on the way up, and it was still worth the trip.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I was just introduced to this website Midcentury modern is definitely not my thing and I feel sort of the same way about Dwell magazine as I did about the popular kids in high school--so a little spoofing at their expense pleases me.

Heard the first cicadas today. Their rattling and buzzing is the perfect soundtrack to these sweaty summer in Philadelphia days. 90 degrees with less humidity felt positively comfortable today...

Sunday, July 10, 2011

40 days

In a lot of traditional cultures (so I've heard), new moms and babes are given 40 days during which they are protected and sheltered, excused from participation in day-to-day activities, fed special foods, and generally expected to just rest, recuperate and get to know each other.

Of course this tradition is not part of our/my modern culture, but I have kept it in my mind these past few weeks. Each time I decided to lay down in bed to watch the fan wave Adrian's hair in the breeze, or took a cool bath with him in the middle of the day, or gave the kids cheese and crackers for dinner, I though of this tradition. 'We're still in our 40 days" I would tell myself as the laundry piled up and giant dust bunnies blew across the floor like tumbleweeds.

But now our 40 days are up. And just on cue, Adrian has woken up. His baby acne went away over night. He holds his head up and looks around, eyes big and dark. He fusses when left alone and smiles when someone comes to rescue him. So, it's time to take up some of my responsibilities again--I'm going to the grocery store today. I still have a few precious weeks of maternity leave left, but soon that will be over and Adrian will have to learn to take a bottle and be comforted by others besides me. So bittersweet...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My friends are crazy-talented

And also incredibly kind and generous. I am so amazed that people would think of making and sending so many wonderful things for a 4th baby. Not that I don't think he's worthy of it, of course. More that I sort of expected people to have a kind of "oh, how many kids do they have already" attitude about him. But instead we've been literally showered with beautiful and handmade gifts and delicious home-cooked meals. How lucky are we?

Catching up

On some crafty stuff I had going on before the baby came. Above is my haul from the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival that we attended two weeks before the birth. I did manage to finish the little sweater for Adrian before he was born. Every year I get seduced by the amazing hand-painted yarns at the festival and this year was no exception, as you can see. In the past, I've been somewhat perplexed as to what to do with hand-painted yarn like this--it doesn't really look good with cables or lace or anything else that is interesting to knit. But this year I went with a plan and got the yarn for 3 projects--one for each kid except Claudia (I'm not knitting for her since she tried on the beautiful Noro cardigan I knitted for her and said "I hate this."). I'm already on the 2nd sleeve of Diego's project and will start P's next with the pink yarn above.
Flowers from our garden.
Placemats I made for the family inspired by the 'Aunt Millie's hot pads" project in The Handmade Home. I used an old moth-eaten wool blanket that had been my grandmothers for the back. It occurred to me belatedly that I probably ought to have pre-washed the blanket so it doesn't shrink in the wash (since they are placemats after all). They have stayed remarkably clean thus far, but a recent frozen blueberry episode has made a wash necessary, so we'll see they hold up... I made a bunch of small hot pads and a mug rug too. The hot pads have been great because they are the perfect size for lots of things I do a lot--holding the handle of a hot tea pot, taking an overheated mug of tea out of the microwave, serving as a coaster for a mug of tea (are we sensing a theme here?).

An old wool cloak of my grandmother's became the wall pocket from the same book for my reading boy. He requires a lot of stuff next to his bed: books, chap stick, tissues, water bottle. You wouldn't believe all the accoutrements. Since his bed is a top bunk, he can't put it on the floor, hence the wall pocket. I made it in his favorite colors--dark blue, turquoise and yellow. In the book, it is mounted on a beautiful unfinished wooden branch, but those are hard to come by here in West Philly, so I used a left-over curtain rod instead.

As you can see, I had quite a love affair with this book in the last few weeks of my pregnancy. I also made a bath mat and baby sling from it. It was weird because I'd had the book for years and had never really been inspired by anything in it, then all of a sudden, I wanted to make almost everything in it.

These are my favorite kind of projects, fast, fun, almost no rules and basically impossible to screw up...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

This picture provides the answer to 2 questions I have been asked a lot recently: 'why is that baby so dark?' and 'How do you have time for knitting?'

My question is this: why aren't more people knitting at the playground???

Monday, June 20, 2011

Growing and kids

I took the girls and Adrian to Bartram's Gardens with my friend Kathleen the other day. We have been so lucky this spring with generally mild weather--cool evenings, pleasant in the shade, warm in the sun. Living in Philadelphia, it is essential to enjoy nice weather while it lasts so we have been trying to get out as much as possible. Bartram's Gardens is the oldest active botanical garden in the country, and it is right smack in Wes Philly, just about 2 miles from my house. It is a perfect West Philly type of place--a little weedy, staffed mostly with earnest volunteers, but absolutely lovely and with lots of amazing native plants and cool activities for kids. We had already gone to a few things this spring, so the girls are getting used to being there.

I think some of my pregnancy 'nesting' this time went into the garden. I'm thinking maybe that's why I didn't get even half the stuff done I had planned before Adrian was born. But our garden is looking pretty awesome with sunflowers taller than me (no blooms yet), tons of basil, parsley and crazy out of control bean vines. I've been loving checking out what's going on each morning, weeding, picking the suckers of the tomatoes. We'll see how I'm feeling when the hot weather arrives in earnest, but for now, it's a pleasure. We've been eating raspberries, lettuce, cucumbers and snow peas. Kathleen made us practically a year's supply of pesto already and our babysitter Jax who is a pretty awesome gardener herself claims she had garden envy.