Friday, March 30, 2012

Busy Fingers

I'm light on blog entries this month but I have actually been quite busy in the crafty/sewing world. And it has ALL been with materials on hand (otherwise known as fabric/yarn I impulsively indulged on years ago but now can feeling thrifty and smug about using because it was already "in my stash"). Right.

Anyway, can't go into a whole lot of details, because most of my current projects are gifts (except this one below, which Amy fell in love with and claimed for her own). More on all the particulars at a later date.

But as always, when I actually get down to sewing, or crocheting, or knitting or any of it I am simply so happy and I have been feeling really good in the last few weeks for actually churning through some projects, rather than just always thinking about them or making excuses about my lack of time, etc. Progress, productivity - a couple of my favorite "p" words.

I also happen to be reading quite a bit these days, too (and staying up way too late doing so). On my current list:

Dewey - which I am reading parts of aloud to Amy, and we are both enjoying.

Some French perspective - come to think of it, perspective is another favorite P word.

Lots of material on homeschooling, like this and this and this. Amy is not old enough for kindergarten this fall anyway, so I'm just collecting input right now.... this subject is on my mind a lot though.

And even though Don has been gone for a few weeks and I have had some twitchy moments in the last few days when I kinda want to run screaming out of the house, it has mostly been really good around here. The kids and I are in a very happy little routine, they are becoming more independent and fun with every passing day, and the weather here is just so gorgeous it is hard to feel twitchy for very long.

Life is good. I'll keep plugging away at those P's and report back here soon. Happy Weekend!

Monday, March 26, 2012


If I am a few days late blogging about my birthday, does that make me more or less self-indulgent? Hmmm...

I hope you'll excuse the indulgence; it was a terrific birthday. I somehow managed to schedule a dentist appointment for myself in the morning - not my first choice for ways to spend a couple hours without my kids, but it wasn't half bad. Amy and William happily played at the neighbor's house and I returned a few hours later to kids dancing around with balloons, a big fat cake on the table, and flowers, cards, champange, AND a gift card... all for me! I haven't felt that special since my friends brought me out to breakfast before school on my 17th. Especially since we are still pretty new here, I was feeling very blessed to already have a friend sweet enough to do all that for me.

The rest of the day was a breeze. The kids were happy, the weather was beautiful, and we went out to eat for dinner and got ice cream afterwards. It was the perfect "summer" birthday evening - something a girl with a March birthday has never had before.

Oh, and while William was napping, Amy requested that I paint her toes to match mine.

It really was a great birthday.

Monday, March 19, 2012

No-Wedgie Zone

Falling into the short-and-sweet-sewing-victories category is the transformation of 4 pairs of Amy's leggings into shorts for the warmer months ahead. She's such a skinny little Bean that these leggings have been the best fitting pants lately. They are worn enough and were getting short enough that they would not be fit for duty by the time it gets cold again, so I decided to whack them all off at the knees and turn them into shorts. Sewing with knits always makes me a little nervous but is never as big a deal as I think it will be. I did manage to find my ballpoint needles for the machine but otherwise just turned under the cut edge once and zig-zagged around from the inside. It worked out beautifully, and Amy can be seen modeling the black pair in the next photo, in true Wilson-Crossett fashion; holding a book in front of her face.

With these little pant-lets as an under-dress option for the summer, we are hoping to avoid Amy's latest displeasure: the almighty wedgie. Those little skorts and scooters that were so cute on her as a toddler are simply uncomfortable now, but a girl still has to have some sort of coverage, you know? Anyway, we are both pleased.

In a completely unrelated note, I simply have to tell about another kitchen addition, or rather, replacement:

That black pot in back has been around since before we were married, and has been one of my best all-purpose pots, particularly because of its strain-and-drain feature. You know how hard it has been to find that same style and size of pot? I've been on the mission to replace it (it was cheap, all the non-stick is chipping off the inside) for at least a year. Finally, finally, good old Walmart came through for me, with a stainless steel one, no less, for a perfectly reasonable $25. Hurray!

Okay, enough about all that. Some fabric I've been needing to complete a quilt just arrived in the mail today and I'm going to see about moving that project along. Have a good one, folks!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Greatest Thing...

... since sliced bread is, well, bread that you slice yourself. Have recently settled on two versions of a basic recipe that I think will keep me from buying bread at the store for the foreseeable future.

... about baking bread at home is a bread machine to do most of the dirty work. Still loving my investment of almost two years ago.

... about birthday presents you pick yourself (and your husband sweetly orders as a "surprise") is getting to play with them early. This year: pizza peel and pizza stone. I have cracked the code. More tweaking necessary for sure, but already my first attempt was better than anything that can be found in these here southern regions.

... about this picture is that I really was this close to this pelican. He was not about to move. If I lived in his little corner of the world I wouldn't move either.

... about living in the south is that even though we were dressed like this:

two weeks ago, it is now 80 degrees and it appears spring (or summer?) is here to stay. (Yes, those are the blue trays on the shelf!)

... about little photographers is the angles that they capture. Above: our friendly little Beatta and his buddy Ellie Alligator the Algae Eater (she's hard to see). In six years I have never taken a decent picture of a fish tank. Below: Mister Blue's bluer-than-blue shoes. Photo credits for both go to Amy.

... about a catch-all blog post is including awesome little moments like this from two weekends ago:

Yes, my husband pulled my children around the backyard in the kayak. It was wonderful.

... and those munchkins? Yes, pretty much the greatest things of all.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Happy Birthday... Humphrey!

Yes, I am writing an entire post about a cat's birthday.

It all started because I actually know both Humphrey and Ollie's exact birthdays, and today was Humphrey's. This information was mentioned casually to Amy this morning and she was off and running. She wrote the above sign (with help only for spelling), and made Humphrey a birthday hat.

My mom tried to get Humphrey to pose with the hat which went about as well as one could expect, so we settled for putting it on his tail.

Amy insisted on making a cake. Since my parents are here and Don is home and there would be plenty of people to eat it, I couldn't refuse.

This was also a good chance to try the easy yellow-cake recipe I found after declaring that I would never buy a box of cake mix again. It was absolutely terrific and validated my decision to avoid fake-cake whenever possible.

We all sang to Humphrey, then ate his cake. Humphrey was no where to be found at the time, but Amy did leave him a small piece in his dish.

Happy Birthday, furry one!