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Summer

June 23, 2011

Maybe I’ll be able to post two relevant posts this year?

I’ve kept this blog for eight years now in one form or another (blogger, independent, wordpress) beginning with son #1’s first birthday. Then the MommyBloggers took over and I couldn’t see a point to be one more voice in the wilderness.

Craftiness? I don’t have the output. Teaching? Ha! No.

All I know is that this is the summer when Things Must Change. I must work on myself both physically and mentally. Things have changed, but keeping my head down has only given me a crick in the neck.

TGI2011

January 1, 2011

2011 kicked my ass.

The first six months were busy and productive and wonderful. The second six months were like falling through the rabbit hole with no Wonderland in sight.

2011 must be about healing and growing, about finding balance and happiness.

Inspired by Spring!

April 8, 2010

This wallflower would hate to miss The Nester’s Mantel Party.

Alas, I have been busy due to an unexpected turn of events that ended in having my own classroom for most of the school year – December until June. Although this has been an incredibly positive challenge, it has sucked away my desire to blog because I don’t have much (of anything) left over a the end of the day. My usual joke is that I barely have two brain cells to rub together for my own kids by the time four o’clock rolls around.

Luckily, it’s spring break (!) and I have had time to to replant myself at home while happily watching the daily changes in the environment around us. Everyday the leaves are a little bit bigger, the buds are a little more like flowers, and the rabbits are a little bit fatter. Our newly de-sodded patch of lawn that will be The Vegetable Garden this summer is a pit of mud.

Finally, with time on my hands, I had try to pull my mantel together, with a not-so-final result of, “Well, it’s better than it was.”

My inspiration to pull it together – such as it is – came after I saw this mantel last week. I lurve that but any closer approximation would not work in my room. As it is, I think I’m pushing my husband’s tolerance for clutter and I already had to remove a few knick-knacks (ironically, from his family) to pull him back from crossing the line.

The branches have really surprised me over the past few days because, although they looked quite bare when I cut them, they’re blooming in time with their outside counterparts. One is from a serviceberry shrub and the other is from a weeping cherry tree. I am anxiously awaiting my lilacs!

The pictures are incredibly “enh” also due to the fact that I have a fancy schmancy new camera that I can’t quite use as well as a borrowed Mac that I can’t quite use.

Also, I *hate* the wall color. Which blogger always complains of swine colored walls? Unfortunately these fit the description, with the added shame that I helped pick out the color. Argh!

PB-inspired peace ornaments

December 1, 2009

Like many people, I love to be inspired by Pottery Barn. This season’s “peace tree” holiday ornaments really called to me but, while the price per ornament is fairly reasonable, the price to cover a whole tree nicely is definitely out of my budget this year.

Enter the crafting solution. My big break in how to do this was discovering that JoAnn Etc. carries wooden peace signs for $0.59 each (sometimes on sale). I scooped them all into my cart. A pictorial explanation:

I had to do a few touch-ups here and there but the glittering process was not too bad, though it took some trial-and-error to get it quite right. For me, it seemed easiest when I mod-podged all over the wood, set it into a pile o’ glitter, and then shook some glitter on top. Warning: This was a week ago and I’m still finding glitter in my hair. But the Martha Stewart stuff works wonderfully.

The thick PB peace ornaments are seven inches in diameter so these are significantly smaller, but cost about 10% as much (plus the glitter and glue, but I had both of those already and didn’t use *that* much of either) and I have a small tree so they fit better. I’d really like to get some slightly blue glitter to make more.

To finish them off I stacked the ornaments four or five high and drilled holes in the top. I have just plain wire ornament hangers on them now but threading ribbon through the top would not be difficult either.

The ornaments that say “peace” are from Target.

In honor of DIY Day.

“stuff” drawer labels – diy

August 26, 2009

kimbaDIY

I swear that I am not a crafting one-trick pony, although this DIY project was the precursor to the last week’s larger project.

Needed: organization in our garage entry area, especially during Michigan winters

Partial solution:

circletabsThis is a basic Target-bought thingamajig, originally all white (now awaiting more paint), with shelves and six fabric/cardboard “drawers.”  The labels are round wood discs that you find in the wood crafting area of just about any craft store. Paint them black. Print out whatever words you want in white on black and cut as close to the words as possible. I used a typewriter-y font. Then I glued them down, drew a white circle around the edge with a paint pen, and applied a few more layers of mod podge.

circlebackThen I glued (gorilla glue – it expands as it dries, hence the globs) a paper clip to the back so that I could clip the label to each drawer.

The labels are mostly self-explanatory. However, “orphans” is not snow gear for orphans but rather orphaned mittens and gloves that we stash there until/if we find the mate.  Next summer I intend to make a couple more labels for more summer-y needs like insect repellent and sun block.

Originally inspired by:

Pottery Barn, of course

img100l

Tomatoes

August 23, 2009

In August

you can eat four different types of tomatoes,

each with its own distinct flavor and color,

straight from your garden

multicolor

or you can buy a huge

box of red tomatoes

from a farmer

for eight dollars

boy-tomatoes

and turn almost half of them into

much less sauce than you think

saucy

for the long winter months ahead…

The Ultimate Anxiety Dream

August 22, 2009

We have had a very low-key summer. Other than swim classes and one week of camp, I have been bound by no schedule.  We wake up some time after eight a.m. and go to sleep… whenever the kiddos will stop squirming and close their eyes.

However, I have three roles to play early in the morning  in about the same place at nearly the same time on Tuesday, September 8th – the first day of school.

1. Mother to a first-day-of-school second grader. Thankfully he’ll be in his second year with his teacher so hopefully he’ll be way less needy than otherwise.

2. PTO-like officer. I just need to pick up a large order of bagels, etc., for the back-to-school (get-out-of-the-classroom) parent breakfast snack and help set it up before school.

3. Substitute teacher. I didn’t really anticipate working much at the beginning of the school year but was just asked to work a short maternity leave from the get-go.

So of course my dream goes something like:

I order a coffee for myself at Panera but forget the bagels. Then I can’t find the kiddo’s classroom at school. Or the classroom in which I’ll be teaching. In fact, none of the teachers are in the same classroom as before. And the PTO-like people are looking for me because there are no bagels and coffee. … And then I realize I’m in my pajamas.

One more week before we head out for our one and only summer trip. After that there will only be a couple of days before school begins.

Right now I’m in the midst of making a huge batch of zucchini muffins to freeze for both kiddos so I can pack something home-made and healthy in their beginning-of-the-year lunch boxes.

And, really, three things to do in about the same place at about the same time is nothing.

My dreams, however, tell me otherwise.