Thursday, October 30, 2008

Almost Ready!

You don't believe the story of the Great Pumpkin? I thought little girls always believed everything that was told to them. I thought little girls were innocent and trusting.
-Linus, It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Crafty Gifts

My mom has had two new loves in her life lately, embroidery and shrinky dinks. She purchased a new Bernina embroidery machine this year and has slowly been getting over the intimidation factor. The great thing is that sometimes I benefit and sweet, crafty gifts come my way. She made bags for all of us that went to Nashville together a couple months ago and monogrammed them too (I love the ladies with all their different shaped fruit butts)...

Way back this past summer (seems like a really long time ago since I am typing this with my feet on a heat vent and an alpaca scarf wrapped around my neck) mom got the girls obsessed with shrinky dinks and this has been the craft of choice that the girls beg to do with her any time they know we will all be spending lengthy amounts of time together. Well, one crafty thing often intertwines with another, and she has discovered while looking at hundreds and maybe thousands of embroidery designs online that they often lend themselves to great shrinky dink designs too. This past weekend she and Grampy were super cute and worked on little Halloween themed shrinky dink necklaces for the girls. Grammy found costume garbed bunnies here, printed them out and Grampy colored them on the shrinky dink plastic. Grammy did the cutting and shrinking and added the necklace string and voila! Adorable vampire bunny and frankenstein bunny Halloween necklaces. The girls loved them and hey, it keeps the grandparents out of the bars while we aren't here to entertain them.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Super Quick Road Trip

We have been saying forever that we would head up to Asheville to visit the cousins and check out their new guest house, and this past weekend happened to work out for a super quick road trip. We piled into the car Saturday morning and headed north. The trees in the Atlanta area had barely started to change, but about an hour farther north showed definite signs of fall. We had a planned stop at the Tallulah Gorge overlook to take in the scenery. It was lovely, but if you are in the area the next couple of weekends it will be spectacular.
Our next stop was not at all planned, but I simply could not pass up the roadside sign that promised Goats On The Roof. "GOATS ON THE ROOF!!!" I exclaimed several times with escalating excitement, and Jay obligingly did a u-turn to take us back to check it out. I don't know, for some reason I just really like goats. And c'mon, put them on a roof and I'm there. And even better, you get to feed them using clever little contraptions!
Look at that glee at feeding the goats! Now that's some roadtrip fun. The shrimp were almost as enamoured with the goats as I was. Jay humoured us, but mostly smirked at the goat spectacle.
The rest of the drive was spent admiring the trees as we got closer to Asheville, they became quite a spectacular sight to behold. After arriving we got the official tour of the new guest house (the oldest child calls it The Hotel). I'm proud of myself when I make a scarf, but Cousin Trey builds a whole house! Now that's crafty. Sure, he had a bit of help, but still.
The little cousins even sat still for a picture. Well, for a moment anyway... And this is what I get from the "grown-ups"... That night Arwen made a delicious dinner, here she is working hard. Hmm, where could Trey be? Sorry Arwen, this is a terrible picture of you, but it cracks me up. We also celebrated the almost-seven-year-old's birthday. The next day we headed to the park with some very tired children and wore them out some more playing soccer. The youngest child slept the entire trip home.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Obligatory Political Post

I will be voting early next week in an attempt to avoid the November 4th crowds. It seems like every blog you read these days has something to say about the election, so I thought I would get my two cents in. I am not the type to ever tell someone else who to vote for, I think it is a decision that each person has to come to based on what they believe government should provide/take away in their lives, but I am happy to share some random links from around the internet that I have used to help make my own decision...

First up, the sites that help cut through the clutter:

Political Fact Check

Analysis of the Candidates' Tax Plans

Other Ballot Questions for Georgia

Go here for an in-depth look at Palin's "career" in politics (scroll down to about the fifth paragraph), then try this one for a look at why Obama may not quite be "the answer" for the struggling lower and middle class.

Why do I put an article on Palin instead of McCain? Well, because I think the most important article on McCain may very well be this one.

Which means you really have to take a hard look at his running mate, you know, her:

But then, if you really need McCain in action, this is one of my favorites:

So really, I think it is up to you to decide to vote for either that hideous woman that will end up as president if John "I think women are lining up to have late-term abortions for the fun of it" McCain is elected or for Obama's terrible tax plan, but please just educate yourself on the issues so that you don't go to the polls "decided" like these people:

And just one more because it cracks me up...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Christmas Crafting In October Is So Stressful!

This afternoon I have been secretly knitting on the girls' scarves while they are upstairs playing with their friend from next door. It is so stressful! Every time they call out about something I jump. I only have my furry helper as witness, she better not tell. Of course, she probably thinks I'm knitting four scarves since her eyes are completely crossed. It's hard to keep projects hidden from the ladies when they are often my biggest fans... "oh mommy, that is soooooo nice, will you make me one next? please, please, please!". How many days until Christmas? Maybe I can cheat and give them as Hanukkah presents since this will be our first year celebrating the Festival of Lights.

Speaking of miracles (sort of), look what my rose bushes gave me! They are so happy to have some cooler weather and are covered in these beauties.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Best Weekends are Fall Weekends

After dealing with a bit of a rough day at school on Friday (she was defending a friend, but apology notes were written on principle), we jumped into a busy weekend. The girls were in a wedding on Saturday for their dad's brother, leaving me free to make some major progress on the quilt I am making for my soon to be 7 year old's birthday. Once I figured out that I was trying to make the wrong size quilt based on the fabric kit I bought it went quite fast. (I can hear you laughing Melissa, cut it out). I love, love, love these Full Moon Forest fabrics by Moda, they have animals hidden in almost all of the prints. Very fairytale-ish I think. Today I will be searching out some backing fabric, I have to somehow get this done in two weeks.

Saturday I mostly spent at the Gwinnett Sewing and Quilt Expo with the mom and the aunt. There were lovely quilts on display and lots of great vendors, it is very dangerous having all your favorite local quilt stores in one room. We definitely managed to do our part to support the local quilting economy.

Fall decorating around here is slowly taking shape, and that, along with the nice cool and crisp morning this morning, put baked apples on my mind... so I decided on one for breakfast. My dad made these a lot when I was a kid. He would dig out the middle of the apple to remove the core, put in a spoon of butter and a handful of raisins and then pour Coke over the whole thing. It was finished off with a dash of cinnamon and cooked in the microwave for about 4 minutes. I didn't have any raisins, but I loaded mine up with butter and Coke, cinnamon and ground cloves this morning. Next time I'm at the store I'm going to get some of those dried cranberries or craisins, I think those would be pretty tasty. I've seen other people fill theirs with brown sugar instead of Coke, but I like how the Coke kind of caramelizes on the bottom of the bowl when you cook it, and it all smells soooooo good.

Oh, and I also must mention that one of my little artistes had her artwork chosen for the spring art show at school (the child turning 7, not the head-butting one). Between Grammy and I, it has probably been completely blown out of proportion, but we are just so proud that she loves to create as much as we do (and a little recognition can go a long way)!

Friday, October 10, 2008

A Week Full of Presents

The theme for this week was definitely presents! The girls were very busy Monday and Tuesday making gifts for Jay's birthday, I've been busy getting birthday and Christmas presents started and Jay even brought me roses mid-week "just because". He also brought me cannoli, but for some reason there isn't a picture of them.

A birthday quilt started for Courtney (including my furry assistant). I can't get enough of these owls and am going to have to try very hard not to steal this quilt from her when it is done...

Scarves started for the girls for Christmas. I thought I was very clever making them both at once, but I foresee a lot of time spent trying not to get the yarns tangled together...
And of course the roses, aren't they lovely?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Randomness and Lack of Self Control

Been a little too busy to blog lately, but thought I would pop in for a quick post. What have I been doing, you ask? Well, my mostly part-time job turns into a mostly full-time job in September and October. Also, I agreed to help put on a charity auction/comedy event for a few hundred people that takes place, um, tomorrow. So, been a bit psycho harried impossible to put up with busy the last few days. So, what do I do when I'm being pulled in a million different directions by job, family and random charity event? Buy embarrassingly large quantities of yarn of course! Apparently I am never too busy to drop absolutely everything and run off to a yarn-store-closing-40%-off-sale-event. Mom mentioned that Knots of Yarn was going out of business (sniff, sniff) Wednesday night and we were there almost at store opening on Thursday morning. And now, my loyal readers, I must confess that I am a bit ashamed of what transpired at said store-closing-40%-off-event. Did I mention 40% off?!!! My mother and I lost all semblence of self control and endulged in what only can be described as a yarn buying frenzy. However, as I sit here with my overflowing bag of yarn beside me, right where I can reach out and grab a skein to stroke and admire from time to time, a sense of calmness and clarity descends upon me, one that could not be acheived with hours and hours of real therapy (and do you know how much that costs?!!!). Yes, I am here to rationalize my yarn buying excess by the pure and simple fact that yarn therapy is worth each and every penny. Especially when it comes deeply discounted. Hopefully this picture of my newly extended stash will help to bring a sense of well-being to your day too...

Merino and Silk and Mohair and Cashmere, OH MY!

I know, it isn't quite the same. My youngest child cried on the way home from school because she wanted yarn too, she has a long life of textile addiction ahead of her.

This isn't all of it I'm afraid. Some things have been left out because of the enormous gift giving holiday looming at the end of the year. The lovely rainbow balls on the left will be cast on next week to begin scarves that the girls will be getting for Christmas (luckily they don't read my blog). They have been begging for scarves, I love that they really seem to appreciate handmade items. Can't wait to share all the upcoming projects that I plan on diving into next week!