Friday, December 07, 2007

Second-hand finds

I'm on the once a month posting kick at the moment. Not because I'm not thinking about you all, but because I can't manage to scratch together the time it takes to really put together a post. So here's the quick 'n' dirty lowdown. No, not in the new house yet. Yes, counting the days till it does happen (and literally...could be days now...electricians finish next week). Kitchen is almost finished. Only thing keeping us out is the fact that the only appliance hooked up is the fridge.

We arranged the furniture for the downstairs, and the futon was going to be too big for the space, yet we needed more seating than just our sofa, so off to the secondhand store I went. Actually, I was really going to look for a wardrobe as we don't really have a downstairs closet. Instead, I found these:

A vintage 1950s sewing cabinet complete with functioning machine. I initially fell for the table because it was a great size for our front entry, and I loved the color. I realized on closer inspection that it had a door, and when I opened it, voila!

It has the original attachments, a vintage pattern for a blouse, and some thread. It needs a couple of the rubber parts replaced, but other than that, it actually does sew.

It also came with a chair that looks pretty beat up, but if you pull the seat off the top, there is storage inside. Makes a great chair to go with something else I found.

Second find is this hurricane lamp. My great-grandparents (who are in their 90s) have some in their home currently, and growing up my mom had a couple that we eventually broke the glass in, but I've always loved the style. I was on my way out of the store when I saw this one and how perfectly it matches the blues in our bedroom and had to have it. You can light up the bottom only, top only, or both.

Third find is this little desk. It's now residing behind the sofa (show you in a minute) with the chair that came with the sewing table, and is a perfect place for me to work downstairs. I'm working there as I type this. The lady who had it before painted dark paint over top of the glossy finish, so the paint is coming off in places where things have rubbed against it. I actually think it adds to the charm of the piece, and when I finally do get around to refinishing it, I'll probably keep it a darker color.

Last find is a loveseat that was priced at $100. It has fantastic bones, feels like it's barely been used, and really only needs a good steaming (it's really not that dirty!). The true color is an ivory/cream. The shape goes well with the pieces we already have, and I'll likely make a slipcover for it.

Needless to say, I didn't find the wardrobe I was looking for, but I spent under $200 for everything I showed here. The thing I love about shopping this way is finding interesting pieces that have a history behind them, that have some life in them, and even though I don't know what that history is (I know a little about the desk, as there were some old bills shoved in behind the drawers), it is fun to speculate about who had them before I found them. It's very easy to go into the secondhand shop and be overwhelmed by all the stuff (much of it is junk). I always make sure I spend a lot of time, and I go through the entire store several times very slowly, because it really is easy to miss a great find if you go too fast.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Look who's walking...

She's really decided in the past day or two that two legs are the way to go. Sometimes anyway. Crawling is still faster at the moment, but she's getting braver by the minute.

Vacuum cleaner dance

She's got a new groove going....I think it will catch on, don't you?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

back from the Knoll

Ok...had a post all started about how great this weekend was and how fantastic the venue was and how much work we have to do as an organization to get the word out that what is going on in maternity care is bunk...but blogger ate it. And I'm too tired to rewrite tonight. But I will post a few pictures of where we were and my favorite girl.

Got a picture of my co-leader and her son B. Didn't get a picture of the other co-leader we traveled with and her son on their own, but we did really enjoy having all of us in the car traveling together. Anyway...much fun was had...much networking done...and much learned that we need to/could do.

Our leadership retreat was at a nature center, and we had a spectacular view of a lake on two sides of our cabin/cottage/whatever the heck you want to call it.

Here's what we're gonna bring to town: The Business of Being Born. Lots to be done. So I better get to sleeping.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween, Boo!

So I pulled a near all-nighter last night trying to get Liam's Halloween costume done in time for him to wear it to school today. Yup. Procrastinated. Thought that maybe if I put it off long enough I'd forget that November is coming. Ok...really, I've just had so many other things going on that making costumes was one of the last things on the list to do. Bigger fish to fry, is what I keep telling my hubby. But you always have bigger fish, says he. Yeah, but some fish are bigger. So I catch them, fry them up, and eat them. I throw the smaller ones back. Eventually they grow into bigger fish. Then I do it all over again. Very much like the mythological fella that pushes the rock up the hill every day. Can't remember his name. Something about sleep deprivation. So yes...there are always fish. Particularly since those smaller fish left in the pond always seem to be procreating. And no, you can't overfish the pond. The fish procreate to quickly, and I'm not so good at catching fish anyway. Worms, Roxanne, worms.

Anyway, I bought goodies yesterday for the costumes and set about trying to figure out how I was going to put it together. Part of me was hoping to find a pattern online or in the craft store that I liked, but that was a no go. Once I found their knockoff suede fabrics though, inspiration hit. I chose a few yards of dark brown faux suede and an embroidered faux suede along with a few packs of feathers. I already had some large beads and felt in my stuff at home that I knew I could use. I didn't have enough time to get as elaborate as I really wanted to get, but for a costume that they were going to wear for a couple of hours, they really turned out pretty well, I think.

I took a pair of Liam's chinos and a long sleeve tee and used it to trace roughly for the sizes of the pieces while giving some extra fabric for selvedge and for fringe on the outsides of the pants and under the sleeves. I used the patterned suede to make the loin cloth and then used the brown suede to make fabric ties. The pants have just a drawstring in them (no elastic, didn't have time), but that seemed to work ok. When I made Liam's, I actually did set in sleeves (why, oh, why did I do that...), because his shirt that I traced from had them and I wasn't thinking of drop shoulders. Dumb. You can believe I didn't repeat that mistake on Jonah's. Hence the boxier fit. I made Liam's pants like pajama bottoms. To do the fringe on the outsides, I sewed those side seams on the right side of the fabric, and then I cut the fringe from the fabric outside the seam. Jonah didn't get pants because I ran out of time, but he didn't seem to mind. The tan cords seemed to work pretty well in lieu.

For Liam's headdress, I took a felt strip, hot glued feathers in it and then folded up the felt over the quills to make a felt sandwich. I cut out circles and hot glued the white feathers between two on each side and then hot glued it to the corners of the main headdress. I strung wooden beads on a piece of pipecleaner for stability and then glued the strip onto the headband to cover the end of the top of the felt. I had a small piece of elastic and I sewed it to the ends of the felt strip to make a full band. Jonah's headband was a piece of the embroidered fabric folded and zigzagged to make the band, and then I hot glued the feathers in the back of it and covered the quills over with a piece of felt. The loin pieces were simply rectangles that were hemmed around 3 sides with zigzag and then the top was folded over and stitched leaving enough room to thread through one of the fabric ties. Liams necklace was a heart-shaped piece of index card with hot glue reinforced holes punched for the yarn tie. I hot glued the feathers to it and anchored it all by glueing a diamond-shaped piece of felt to it.

Overall, I probably spent more thand I would have if I'd just bought a cheapie costume on clearance yesterday, but I think they turned out pretty well....and I got to craft, so you know, two birds and the such. Someone else we all know and love was supposed to be a banana, but she went and grew out of her costume. She heard it was a bunting and she didn't like the idea of being without use of lower limbs for more than 2 seconds. So we ended up borrowing this costume from friends (and some war paint). She was very true to the costume and flitted about from halloween basket to halloween basket just like a little bee (hmm, any candy for me? she says)

Hope you had a great Halloween!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Movin' it indoors

So today was the first day of indoor soccer. Indoor soccer is definitely a much faster game than outdoor soccer. The fields for the boys are similarly split where they take a full field and divide it into two smaller ones with the goals where the sidelines normally would be. Liam had a grand time, once he got away from socializing with the goalie.

Liam hanging out telling his favorite jokes to the goalie, while the goalie's dad (who was in the stands) has a conniption because his son isn't "on it"

So far I'm learning that there's a lot of biting your tongue when you're the mama of a sports playing child. The dad of the kid who was in the goal in the above picture is a real type A. He spends most of the game yelling at his kid about where he needs to be and what he needs to be doing, despite the fact that his kid is doing just fine without the feedback, as the coach is giving guidance. Part of the idea of the game is that the kids go out there and have fun, no pressure. They aren't even supposed to be keeping score, as evidence shows that with all the pressure and yelling and score-keeping that most of these kids won't want to play soccer anymore by the the time they're old enough to be in high school, because the pressure is just too much. I don't want that for Liam. Before and after each game, I make sure I tell him I don't care if he scores, it doesn't matter if they win or lose or if he makes mistakes, I just want him to go out there and have a good time and play hard. I also tell him that other parents yell and that I'm not going to do that, but that it doesn't mean I don't support him.

The fella in the foreground of the picture above was really something. His shirt had organic chemistry all over it, which I thought was pretty interesting and cool....then I saw the rest and it was something about how God created the world and then there was beer. Kinda lost something after that. He was really dancing in Clinton and Stacey's "what not to wear" territory.

So the really exciting part about today was that I played my first game of indoor soccer. Yup. Me. Out on the field. Running around. A lot.

I had a great time. There are 4 women's teams this session (up from 2 last), and the women's league has only been in existence since last January. When they started, only 3 women actually had any previous soccer experience, so it has been a learning process for everyone. Which works great for me, as I have zero soccer experience and very, very little organized sports experience. I played a little ultimate frisbee with my former roommate while at IU and I did the two years of Little 500, but other than that, no team sports.

All the gals there this morning were super nice and very welcoming. One of the ladies is a neighbor down the street, and we played against a team that the neighbor next door to the IL's is on. And she is really good. Everyone was really great about the fact that I had NO clue where I was supposed to be at any particular time and that five times out of six that I tried to kick the ball, I missed. I did make a couple of good stops, and I did try my hardest, so I think that's all positive.

Because of the nature of indoor, there is not much in the way of stopping the clock, so I spent most of the time out on the field going full throttle, which my body is really NOT used to. I'm a little (Ok, a lot) out of shape, despite the fact that I'm back down to my prepregnancy weight. It was very windy. As in I was sucking a lot of it, but I'm sure that will get better with time. Gotta get into a regular exercise program, that's for sure. I sprained my left ankle last weekend when I stepped backward into a hole after peeking in the dining room doors to look at the floors, but the ankle didn't seem to bother me too much today. I did, however, need a big nap this evening.

So I had a good time and met some new friends and got some exercise and will likely be sore for the next 3 days, but it was all good. I forbade anyone from taking any pictures or coming to watch me for this game, so there is no evidence that this event even took place, but I needed that so I could get my bearings and get over some of the anxiety of playing with the big girls. I told them that maybe next week they could come watch. Which will be convenient, as I'll be in Michigan for a leadership retreat.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Apple pickin'

I have fond memories of going to the apple orchard on school field trips as a child, but I haven't been since I was younger. Liam had the chance to go with the Waldorf school when he was there, and he loved it, but we never got to go with him. So this year when friends asked if we wanted to go and take the kids, I jumped on the opportunity.

The weather here has been spectacular (there are those who don't enjoy 80 degree temps in October, but I don't happen to be one of them) with lots of sunshine (though the bottom is dropping out of all that today with rain and temps in the 50s). Sunday was the perfect day to take advantage, so we packed up all the children (three of ours and their five girls), and headed to the orchard for some pickin'.

The children all tasted an apple or two to make sure they were the kind we wanted. We picked Winesap, Yellow Delicious, and Melrose. I like firm apples, so we tried to steer toward those. We also bought a bag of Rome and a jug of cider.

We climbed a couple trees, since many of the apples were out of reach. Once Liam got into the trees, it was hard to convince him to stay out of them. Not only did he climb, but he insisted on doing it barefoot.

A good time was had by all, and yesterday we took some of these beautiful apples and made applesauce to freeze. Yum!

Don't eat too much candy this Halloween, otherwise...

...this could happen to you! Maybe this is why he never smiles in his pictures.

MIL found these teeth at the grocery store and thought they'd be great fun. Jonah enjoyed them, but Liam didn't want any part of them at all.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Crazy with the camera a few pictures of the upstairs. Only room with boxes unpacked is the kids'. Everything is out on the floor since we haven't moved in the shelving yet. Aren't the floors pretty, though? Yeah. Let me just tell you how much work those were. Like on hands and knees scraping kind of work. And fighting with polyurethane to get the thickness of each coat just right. But they're done.

Gonna put a coat of stain on the floors downstairs tomorrow. Hopefully we'll make our Halloween self-imposed deadline to be in the house.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying the change of the leaves and the warm weather.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A quick blurb...and gratuitous photos...

We rented a truck last weekend and started moving things in because we finally finished the upstairs floors. Three rooms from the old house are mostly moved. No pictures to show of that...but I do have others to share, just because.

I know I've said this before, but I love my new camera.

As promised previously...Outdoor soccer...

I got pictures of baby girl in a dress that was lovingly gifted from Uncle L. and Aunt C. She's worn it several times, but I just got the chance to get pictures of her in it today.

She and the big guy were sharing grapes, and each time she'd take a bite of grape, she'd screw up her face like it was really sour. Didn't stop her from eating them, though!

I also have been doing a little bit of knitting. Only washcloths and baby hats for the moment. Not enough time to do anything else big.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Playing soccer

Liam loves soccer. I've never seen a kid play a sport where he's smiling the whole time.

See my only tooth?

The other is nearly through. I think she and Liam are on the same schedule.