Category Archives: Photos

Crazy Hair Day

In honor of Dr. Suess’s birthday this week, Eli’s school has activities planned every day. Today is crazy hair day. Stephen and I decided he looked a bit like an Anime character but since I don’t know anything about Anime really, I have no idea which one.

He started asking me this morning at 6:03 when I would fix his hair. He asked again three minutes later and then about 3 minutes after that. I think he was excited about putting goop in his hair. I’m willing to do just about what ever it takes to keep him interested in learning.

Crafting, reading about crafting, listening to podcasts about crafting, oh and snow!

It’s been a snowy mess here lately. I jokingly said at Christmas that it snowed all the time here, so I think the universe decided to prove me right.

While it’s been too cold to even stick my toe outside, I’ve been stitching and listening to podcasts. I blame Alex at The Gearheart for addicting me both to his story (which is made of pure awesome) and to podcasts in general.

From Gearheart, I got hooked on Craftypod and I’ve been completely grooving to the fabulous big name crafty guests Sister Diane interviews as well as her informative shows on various crafts. Her website is a treasure trove of links, crafts and fun stuff. She’s also writing at theMake and Meaning site and I’m super excited about the conversations happening there. Now, not only can I nerd out about the crafts I do, I can nerd out reading about other people nerding out about them as well.

Just see what I’ve accomplished listening to The Gearheart and Craftypod since I started working on Starry Night:

And because I haven’t posted since before Eli’s birthday:

You can read more about the awesome cake that ReneƩ made for Eli at The Domestic Scientist.

I can’t post about Eli and not Liza, so here’s Liza and Lola:

An everything update in one post!

As Stephen posted earlier today: Life! it is busy! We have a wounded hot water heater that we’re dealing with. I have a root canal scheduled for Tuesday. My blood pressure has been crazy high and I’m dealing with that. And in and around all these other things, we’re trying to get Eli’s birthday party plans worked out and still carry on the day to day business of life. I’ve remarked a few times that I have no idea how I’d hold down a full time job what with all the work I do and this is definitely one of the busy times.

But we’ve still had some fun lately. Behold: The nearly six year old spoon boy!

And his crime fighting buddy: Orange Girl!

If that’s not enough to scare the evil pants off of the bad dudes, here is the even scarier formation: Tower of Granades! to get the bad guys attention. Stephen is welding the pickle-pult for full defensive action.

How do I fight crime, you ask? Well, I bore them to death with tales of organizing my office and photos of cross stitch projects. See below!


Here is The Fortunate Traveler as I packed it up this past week. I’m moving on to a new stitching project so I wanted to show off the progress I made over the past four months.


This is the box of thread I worked out of for Traveler. I remember when I organized this box I thought it was the largest project I’d ever undertake. I was so very wrong.

My next project is Starry Night as reproduced by Golden Kite. This is one of my favorite pieces of art and I’ve wanted to work on it for a while. Several companies have done a repro but none of them get it right like Golden Kite. I got the pattern for Christmas.


The box on the left is thread I had to purchase for this project. The box on the right is thread I already had. I also had to purchase another box like the one on the right to hold all the thread.


The second box I purchased holds about 1/3 of the regular colors and then 2/3s of the box is blended colors. What is a blended color? Take two colors, separate the individual six strands of each and them combine one strand out of each two. Makes for a beautiful color set. Starry Night has 88 blended threads. I know, because I’ve numbered the cards for easy reorganization. Getting the thread wound took three separate nights of work.

Previously, I’ve kept track of my blended threads on the symbol card by sticking the needle through the card next to the symbol. It makes for a very messy symbol chart! The needles then fall out and I end up trashing thread because I don’t know what the colors on the needle are. So blending the threads on their own cards before I start stitching is a new method for me. I can already tell it will, at the very least, be neater than my earlier setup.

Fabric! I bought a slightly undersized piece of linen to use. It was 40% off and I decided that if I ever actually got the piece finished it would have to have fabric sewn to it so it could be stretched anyway. I stitched about 30 stitches and realized two things: I needed to stop and pre-blend all the thread AND I desperately needed Aida fabric.

I’ve not used Aida much in the past few years. It’s the fabric you use when you start stitching. It’s heavier, starchier, and even the best quality Aida doesn’t look as good as the lowest quality linen. However, for this project, I realized that it would go much faster if I wasn’t counting holes in the linen to get the stitches right. Also, since the finished piece is solid stitches the fabric wasn’t going to show anyway.


That ruler? Inside the frame in the center of the fabric? It’s seven inches long. That piece of fabric is 36 inches by 31 inches. The finished piece will be 29 1/2 inches wide by 24 inches high.

I got it all stretched on the frame last night and almost, almost got the 30 stitches done I’d made earlier in the week on the linen.

Are you dead yet? A couple of photos of the office since it looks so amazing right now.

The monument to paper! Notice I have labeled all the drawers!


New boxes! New books! New labels! I might be able to actually find things! Crazy talk!

Two Weeks of Photos

The past two weekends we’ve been busy, busy, busy. And I’ve got the photos to prove it!

Space and Rocket Center
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Some friends came to visit for the day and we played at Rocket City’s biggest attraction.

Halloween
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This year Eli finally got “trick or treating” and Liza thought carrying her bag of candy was almost not worth the effort. Oh wait, what am I saying? There was candy in that bag! Liza could have hauled that thing to Timbuktu for the crumbs off of a Kit Kat.

Birthday Week was a WIN! Do I have to wait a year for another?

There are not enough words to describe the awesomeness of my trip to Atlanta to see U2 and visit with friends. The show was full of awesome. A friend of a friend said that Bono was the best worship leader that she’d ever had and I’ll have to second that. I think the show was specially tailored to show off their “We’re all about that love and peace business.” side. Here’s the set list:
Breathe
Put on Your Boots
Mysterious Ways
Beautiful Day
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
Stand By Me
Stuck in the Moment (acoustic)
No Line on the Horizon
Magnificent
Elevation
End of the World
The Unforgettable Fire
City of Blinding Lights
Vertigo
I’ll Go Crazy if I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight (very wacky remix)
Sunday Bloody Sunday
MLK
Walk On
One
Amazing Grace
Where the Streets Have No Name
Ultaviolet
With or Without You
Moment of Surrender

I loved every minute of the show but I was/am a bit taken aback that my favorite song of the show was “Ultraviolet.” It’s never been a particular favorite of mine but the song combined with the light show and the smoke was really eerie, interesting and moving. My other highlights of the show was Danielle nearly pinching my arm off during the remix of “Crazy Tonight” and her leaning over to tell me that the name of the song “MLK” was “MLK” and then my reply that I knew that because I’ve been singing it to my children at bedtime for the past five years and then the lady behind me giving me a funny look because of it. And the dancing and the screaming of the “Woo!” There was much “Woo!” screaming. I had a blast.

Danielle and Kat and I also visit Ikea on Tuesday where I proceeded to buy the place out. I love me some Ikea. If my house ever burns down and I have to start over from scratch, I’m doing everything in Ikea because it’s so cool.

While Mom was here this past weekend, we redid Liza’s room with some of Ikea purchases. She’s now in the big girl bed and doing really well with it.
DORA! (and Liza!)
More pictures to come once we get the new light fixture hung.

I also got a ton of books as birthday gifts:
Crafty Book Stash
All of them are awesome! Thanks to everyone who bought me a new book! It’s gonna take me a while to get through them all but I’m so excited about each and every one. The bonus awesome goes to Fahmida for the book she made of our trip to Japan. It’s made me so homesick to go back.

And lastly, if you’ve made it this far you deserve a cute kid photo:
Hiding in the shower
They thought they were hiding in the shower. I didn’t have the heart to tell them that if they are shrieking at the top of their lungs, they are pretty easy to find.

Craft Update

Dragon has a head!
I started this Teresa Wentzler before Liza was born. I stopped to cross stitch something for Liza’s room and then just never picked this piece back up. After I finished the lighthouses, I asked the Craft Night Ladies what I should work on next and they all unanimously said, “THAT!” when I showed it to them. I’ve nearly got the main panel completed and will start on the border for it and then there’s another huge section of text and more border after that. I don’t see it being completed anytime soon and I’m likely to put it down and work on something else for a while to take a break. But for now it’s pretty satisfying.

Big Flowers
This past summer I started an art journal and I’ve worked in it as I’ve had ideas and wanted to try different things. This is my latest page from this week. I always think the one I just finished is my favorite and this one is no exception. I’m sure I’ll love the next one just as much.

Tiny Party Animals
I bought new lampshades because the old ones were so bent and mangled that it was starting to be embarrassing. I was just going to throw the old shades away but decided to see what the kids would do if I let them play. They spent a solid 30 minutes walking around like this and all they did was cackle like fiends and run into things. And I wonder how the lampshades got bent in the first place?

Oink!
I traded my friend Janelle a notebook for these awesome slippers. Liza walks around saying, “Oink!” endlessly.

Speaking of notebooks, I have 12 to the point where I can take photos and start posting them. I’m hoping to get that done this week after I return from Atlanta and seeing U2.

Yeah, I said it. U2 for my birthday.

It’s the second time I’ve gotten to see U2 and both times it’s been in October. So I’m a lucky girl. Doubly lucky because Stephen is taking off of work to stay home with the kids while I go hang out with friends and go to the concert. I’ll have much to post about when I get back.

Lighthouses Finished

Coast to Coast Houses of Light
Had a marathon stitching session last night and then finished up this morning. I’ve ironed it and emailed my client to say that it’s ready. Can’t wait for her to see it. I’ve talked about it and tweeted about it and you guys have traveled the road with me. This is a pretty awesome end to a pretty awesome week.