Archive for August, 2008

Aug 29 2008

Kid Creations (Ethan Lego Creations)

Published by under crafty,kids,likes & irks,photos

I haven’t showcased any kid creations for a while, but rest assured it’s not because there hasn’t been any creativity! It’s because Mommy is LAZY!

But in honor of the upcoming BRICK FAIR (which we are VERY excited about in our house! This weekend! Still time to make plans to go!) here is one of Ethan’s recent creations. (And by “recent” I mean, “has already been destroyed to make something even BETTER.”)

You can imagine Ethan’s GLEE when his class at his new (daycare) school went on a field trip to THE LEGO STORE! He came back with a clone trooper bobble-dude (the name used in MY childhood household for minifigs*) on a keychain which, through my winning charm and mommy-ness, Ethan gave to ME instead of Daddy. (HA!) (I RAWK!)

BEHOLD!

He also came home with several lego catalog/magazines which he has pored over nonstop ever since.

It’s going to be an AWESOME weekend at the brick fair.

*Just so you realize how much legos played a part in my childhood, I was actually not all that interested in them. My brothers, however, were very interested in them. Santa brought legos to my brothers every christmas, a tradition that lives on in our household to this day, except he brings them to everyone (mommy and daddy included) instead of just the boys. My brothers had a bucket filled to the brim with legos and my mother required a sheet put down before any were poured out. That’s how many there were. My brother Larry’s dog is now named, you guessed it, ‘Lego’. So, I guess you could say I’ve been training for carefully stepping over lego bricks for 34 years now!

-amy

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Aug 27 2008

my tanglewood bag

Published by under amy's head,crafty,photos

Well, that was a quick sewing goal accomplished! The bag went very quickly with only 1 place where I had to stop and scratch my head. (Not doing the patchwork = EASY bag!) I think it took maybe 4 hours to sew all together, including cutting out.

I was going to wait until I could take prettier pictures of it, but oh well. iPhone photos below! Once again, the pattern can be purchased here.

I used the material I had left over from Jocelyn’s sundress. I did buy a new walking foot for my machine, and I must say, I wish I had bought one of these things YEARS ago. Sewing machines have this jagged little thingee that comes up from the bottom and “feeds” the material through — called the feed dog. If you have several layers however, the feed dog only pushes the bottom through and the top layer can go through at a slower speed than the bottom layer causing some wonkiness. A walking foot feeds the top side of the material through so there’s no wonkiness. This will be VERY handy on the satin binding of the baby blankets I make from time to time!

The only real question I had was the bias tape binding for the top edging and handle. The pattern calls for 1″ double folded bias tape. First of all, the tape I was looking at didn’t come in 1″ wide, only 7/8″ wide. And second of all, it looked much too wide. But, I bought some anyway and took it home. When it came to the binding/handles/tape part though, I still wasn’t quite sure. I had some 1/2″ tape on hand so I used that, which looked VERY nice. When I was pinning it on for the handles, it struck me that it would make very flimsy handles/straps. So I ended up taking the 7/8″ bias tape and folding it over – this made for a VERY thick binding/straps (my machine complained a little) but the end result is very satisfactory – nice thick handles to hang on to.

I love this bag SO much. I think it would be especially cute to do a little hand quilting on it – outline a flower or two, maybe sew on a few beads. That’s the kind of time-consuming hand work that I am not good at finishing though, so I doubt it will happen.

I definitely think I’ll be making another one of these. Or two. Or three!

-amy

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Aug 25 2008

Poop.

Published by under amy's head,kids,likes & irks

Jocelyn pooped in her bed in the night.

As you can imagine, there was quite a mess in the morning. Luckily, it stayed on the lower half of the bed (no poop-hair or face, thankfully).

I got her showered and bathed off, and her sheets soaking in the toilet (think crusty) and the rest of her stuff into the washer. The stench in her room was awful. Opened the window and turned on the fan. I hope it’s gone by the time we get home.

The smell in my nostrils still remains. I keep lifting my hands up to my face and inhaling just to make sure I don’t smell like poop. I don’t.

But the memory is still haunting me.

-amy

2 responses so far

Aug 22 2008

Jocelyn’s Baby Quilt

Not a quilt for a baby, but a quilt made out of baby clothes.

Although actually, it’s more like made out of toddler clothes.

Except no, it’s not just clothes, it’s her adorable DRESSES!

I should really call it Jocelyn’s Toddler Dress Quilt.

So, just to warn you guys, this is a sewing post. But there are also pictures, so you can just glaze over the SEWING words and look at the pictures – sure, they’re of quilts, but there’s also a blurry one of Jocelyn wielding a naked barbie doll, so don’t skip!

I’ve been stockpiling the sweet little summer sundresses as she grows out of them with the intention of making a quilt out of them for her some day. I first discussed this here. Now, we’re talking about a myriad of patterns and colors and even fabric weight (though I’m trying to keep it to just wovens, no knits) so when I do make this quilt it will be quite a task to meld it all together.

So, a few items have caught my fancy in the last month or so, and I wanted to make a note of them so that when that Quilt-Making Day DOES arrive, I’ll have some ideas to draw on.

This Denyse Schmidt “Single Girl” quilt looks adorable, but I don’t think it would showcase each fabric enough. I want to be able to look at each fabric and remember my little girl WEARING it.

If I was making the quilt today, I would have to go with a coin quilt. Here’s Hillary’s blogiversary quilt from Wee Wonderfuls that jump-started that idea. The white base color frames each fabric beautifully.

I wonder if I have enough dress fabric for this yet? I think I definitely will once she outgrows this summer’s clothes.

Which will be in about TWO MINUTES!

(All they can talk about every time I drop her off in her new classroom is, “She’s HOW old? Wow, she is TALL. Look how TALL. She looks like she’s FIVE, because she’s SO TALL, TALL, THE TALLNESS, I MUST COMMENT ONCE MORE ON THE TAAAAAALLL.” — I get it. She’s tall. We have spawned a tall amazonian girl-child. Shuddup already.)

I am all itchy to sew something. I sewed a sweet little sundress for Jocelyn which she has not allowed me to take a picture of (here’s one I got where she is RUNNING AWAY IN PROTEST, wielding a naked Barbie doll. “Don’t take my picture! I have a naked Barbie, and I’m NOT AFRAID TO USE IT!)

jocelyn's shirred summer dress

I SHIRRED! It was lovely fun, the shirring! When I finally got it to work! If you don’t know what shirring is, it’s sewing with elastic thread in the bobbin which makes the material get all stretchy and lovely – the top half of that dress = shirred. I got the motivation and know-how for it over at Portabello Pixie (the Shir Madness! Tutorial is down the side of her sidebar).

But that was months ago, and I want to sew something NEW! Something FOR ME!!

Look! It even says it’s FOR ME!!

I bought Alicia Paulson’s Tanglewood Bag pattern the instant she put it up for sale in her shop, but not the fabric kit, and have been hung up on fabric.

For ease of use, I thought, “I don’t HAVE to cut 48 2″ squares… I could just make the pattern with a solid fabric and not do the patchwork thing…” Which, let’s face it, is an EXCELLENT idea because I’m bound to mess something up and messing up on a 48 pieced 2″ squares will definitely make me cry, and so I could make the solid purse kind of my trial run before a “final” version, and also? I still have PLENTY of material left over from the blurry shirred dress up there — but even that sort of lazy talk didn’t motivate me into actually sitting down and doing it. I may pitch in the fickle towel and just MAKE IT ALREADY.

So this bag is my goal for the next week. Sewing. WOOOO!

-amy. lazy, fickle AMY.

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Aug 21 2008

Project Skinny

Published by under amy's head

Time to kick it up. I bought an iphone application called “iPoint” that will calculate and track weight watcher’s points.

I am up like 4 lbs since I went to the doctor last, which was sadly, not very long ago. I am due back in 4 weeks, so I don’t want to embarass myself.

I’m going to try to walk some stairs at my office each day at lunch time. Today before I got lunch in the cafe downstairs, I walked up to the roof. (I think that’s 4 floors? Not sure, but not more than that.) It was pretty easy, had to pause before the last set of stairs, and I was breathing hard, but I felt fine. Then I went down all the stairs and got some lunch and ate it in the cafe. Then came the shock, when after standing, I felt like my legs were all made of wobbly jello!

Time to lay off the breakfast buying. Yes, that’s right, I’ve been breaking my new years resolution (for quite some time now) and buying food on the way to/at work. Lunch is understandable, though I still try to bring my own in, but breakfast? There’s just no excuse! Time to cut that out.

I bought an awesome new water bottle – you really wouldn’t think a water bottle would make a difference in the water you drink, but it TOTALLY has. It is a Camelbak. I promptly removed the nipple that goes over the spout, and the straw thingee inside, but it doesn’t leak, my biggest complaint about my old water bottle (nalgene, if you must know).

Diet Coke – how I love you. You’re so cold, and delicious and mmmm. I LOOOVE you, Diet Coke! Let’s run away together! Really, it’s the diet coke that drives me to McDonald’s in the morning. Because I really want that diet coke. I love it. I love it. I looooove it. We’ll see. I make no promises on this one. I’m pretty bitchy without my caffeine. (Don’t listen to all that, Diet Coke. I would never leave you. I love you so!)

So there you go. Time to kick my (fat) ass into shape!

-amy

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Aug 19 2008

my favorite late summer recipe

Published by under cooking,recipes

  1. Go out to your garden, gather up a whole mess of cherry tomatoes.
  2. Snip off a big bunch of basil.
  3. Go back inside to your kitchen, and get out a box of plain couscous. Follow the directions for the whole box. (I’ve made it with both water and broth and haven’t found any big difference.
  4. While it’s sitting, rinse your tomatoes & basil, cut the tomatoes in half and chop up the basil. Inhale deeply, because that late summer basil smell = SO GOOD!
  5. Pop a lemon or two into the microwave for about 10-15 seconds (makes them easier to juice!) Slice in half, position a mesh strainer over a bowl and squeeze. Bang the seeds into the trash and toss the strainer into the sink.
  6. Take your bowl of lemon juice, add a pinch of kosher salt, some black pepper, your chopped up basil, and a swirl or two of extra virgin olive oil. Whisk.
  7. By now your couscous has absorbed all the liquid, and may have even melded itself into a pan-shape (if you were doing it in a pan that is). Pour it into a new bowl, fluffing with fork as you go. If you have some chunks that won’t fluff (because it melded itself into the pan-shape) no biggie. They’re yummy too.
  8. Pour your basily-lemony dressing over the top, add the tomatoes, combine gently and then dig in.
  9. I think this is supposed to be chilled, but I usually can’t wait.
  10. Also, this is good the next day, but significantly LESS lemony, so plan to add more lemon juice, if you want.
  11. Last thing – if you do all this when the couscous is still hot, the basil will lose some of it’s super-greenness, especially if you keep leftovers. It won’t affect the taste, but if you want it to stay pretty, cool the couscous first.

So yummy. I’m all out now (used store tomatoes) and need to make more. Hopefully I will have nice red tomatoes in my garden now ready to be EATEN.

The non-narrative version after the break.
Continue Reading »

2 responses so far

Aug 18 2008

School News

Published by under kids

We had another incident with Ethan on Friday, which just breaks my heart because it was the last day at this school. They called me and I came and picked him up. He had bitten another kid — his very super best friend, to boot. He did fine at home, and we allowed him to go back and participate in the end of summer camp event — campout night! That’s right, our son spent his first night away from mommy and daddy and any family member. The reports go that he fell asleep late (i’m guessing 11ish) and then woke up at 2am ready to go play some more, and then went back to sleep an hour or so later. He was dead asleep when James picked him up at 8am, and slept until noon. When we had lunch, he kept correcting us – “It’s BREAKFAST!” and we kept correcting him, “You SLEPT through breakfast!” I’m very glad that he left our old school on a good note.

Today both Ethan and Jocelyn started at a new school, a daycare that is closer to home, and does afterschool care for Ethan’s elementary. They were both excited, and I bought Jocelyn some new shoes this week, purposefully waiting until we were done at our previous school (our old school had a sandbox. Do you know how quickly sand RUINS shoes?) She’s very happy with her new shoes, “SKECHERS!!!” and tried them out yesterday by running races with Daddy (who graciously let her win).

I am nervous about Ethan because he’s going from this woo-hooo! sUmMeR cAmP! mentality to a more structured class (thank goodness) where he won’t have his Nintendo DS and be able to play on the computer all day long. This is a FANTASTIC thing, but he may be a bit bummed about it. He also won’t be taking his lunch in, until after school starts in two weeks, so he is bound to not like that. Jocelyn was a bit clingy when I dropped her off, but when I peeked in at her before leaving, she was happily playing with some puppets. There are a few girls in there that I’m sure will become her best friends, or as James put it, her best friend one day, and then not her best friend, and then her bestest friend ever, and then “I’m not playing with her,” even while she tells us all the things she did with them (typical jocelyn behavior!)

One thing I gotta say – it’s nice to have their school so close to home! While I will miss our old school, it was NOT close, and I won’t be missing that!

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Aug 15 2008

jailbroken iphone

Published by under amy's head,iphone,likes & irks

So yesterday I jailbroke my phone. It was very fun and exciting. And also – amazingly EASY. I heard there was a lot of issues with the first (2.0) jailbreak software, but I used the 2.01 version and had no issues whatsoever.

2 applications are put on the phone when you jailbreak, kind of like alternatives to the app store, the first is called Cydia, and the second Installer. I’m still figuring things out in there, I think my trouble is there’s a lot of applications that work for versions UNDER 2.0, but have not yet been ported to 2.0, so I will go to click on an app that looks interesting and get an error.

I have installed quite a few though, and I am so happy! I will write up my favorite 3rd party applications soon, but need to give it a week or so first. One thing I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE though is that you can completely change the look of your phone. The screen where you see all your icons laid out is called the “Springboard” and there are lost of springboard, summerboard and even winterboard themes that you can install and fiddle around with. Here are a few of the ones I tried:

Here is the original iphone “theme”:

And here are some othersI tried out:

This one is called “Sexy Realize”-

KillsignSuperBlack-

Sephia-

And finally, “Pinkameter” – the one I’m going to stick with until I get sick of pink (it might not last until tomorrow):

And last but not least… QUAKE SCREEN SHOT!

Quake 4 iPhone

Quake 4 iPhone

I haven’t really played it. Need to figure out how to set up some customized controls – using some tilting of the phone itself would be awesome, hope that’s available.

WOOT! Jailbroken baby!

-amy got sprung!

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Aug 13 2008

time for an iphone jailbreak!

Published by under amy's head,iphone

I’ve been kind of ansy, wanting to jailbreak my iphone, but kind of nervous to mess with it. I’ve been (semi) following along with the hackers’ iphone blogs and a few other iphone feeds and it seemed as if even if you jailbroke your phone, there weren’t many 3rd party apps for 2.0 anyway, so, easy for me to put off the ants in my pants and just wait.

but no more!!

Quake! QUAKE 4IPHONE! 1

You see before you, an old quake fanatic. It’s been years, but if there’s network play, I look forward to stomping james into kingdom come. (I used to be able to do it!)

I know what I’ll be doing this weekend.

  1. This link also has other 3rd party apps listed, which might be useful for anyone to read through who is asking, “why would you want to jailbreak your phone, anyway?”

3 responses so far

Aug 09 2008

Sometimes a big vocabulary is not a great thing

Published by under daily,kids

E: this submarine is really bitchin.
A: WHAT did you say?
E: because it’s super fast and–
A: honey, what was the word you used?
E: uhh, I can’t remember now.
A: did you say bitchin?
E: yeah, that was it.
A, trying to not crack up: honey, that’s actually a bad word.
E: oh.
A: I know you didn’t know, but try not to say it again.

It is pretty bitchin.

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