Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Preparations

Chipsters! The once a year cookie recipe, involving a hammer and an alternately greased and frozen glass. When I turned on the cuisinart, the lights flickered. These cookies are intense and awesome and they usually last around 20 minutes at our house. I don't think anyone walks by the cookie jar without eating one

Those are gingerbread men in the background. Mmm... not everyone likes traditional gingerbread- super spicy and dark. But it is one of my favorite things about this time of year.

That's a doll quilt in progress, to go with Olive and a new bed on Christmas morning. I put the binding on while watching The Fifth Element. Nothing like those traditional Christmas movies to bring home the true meaning of the season.

Here are some more of my last minute zipper pouches stuffed with nail polish and dollar store manicure supplies for the tweens in my life. The dots have an orange dot lining, and the pears have a green dot lining. I first tried to make a pouch for Zoe our of the silk pajamas her Grandma bought her in China when she was a baby, but I learned my lesson- I am definitely not good enough for silk yet. Someday maybe I will try to sew with silk again, but not anytime soon. Wow. That sucked. Chase can be a witness to my sewing rage.

And here's the Woodland Elf hat from the Amy Karol book, for a fairy obsessed niece. this was fun to make once I decided to totally ignore how my brain said a hat should be put together, and just follow the pattern. This was addictive though. I am fighting the compulsion to make like 17 more.

And lastly, a quilted patchwork scarf for my mom that I made this morning. Honestly it turned out kind of weird. But the linen is definitely her style, and I think she'll like it. I hope she'll like it, because since she's my mom, she's going to tell me she loves it, and she'll wear it around and tell people I made it, even if she hates it more than any other item of clothing she's ever owned.

And now we're off to Beaumont for a quick pre-Christmas visit. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone, and I'm also looking forward to coming back to Austin and having a very low-key Christmas morning at home. Well, as low-key as we can be, with screaming children and a retarded dog with awful indigestion.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Crafting

Most of my crafting these days has to remain on the down low, but since two of my main crafting recipients are among the majority of humans who don't read this blog, I feel safe sharing one of Jane's Christmas gifts:

Meet Olive, as she is dubbed in the Wee Wonderfuls pattern. I guess Jane will call her whatever she wants. I'll be squeezing some time into the next few days (I'm guessing between 12 and 1 AM) to make Olive a matching quilt, and we're planning on rehabbing the doll bed Wren never played with, that's been sitting disassembled under out bed since the move from LA. So Janey will get a doll, a blanket and a bed. She consistently turns everything else into these items, wrapping up and putting to bed cell phones, balls, and by accident, the occasional actual doll.

This is the usual fate of dolls in our house. Wren has never been much of a playing-with-dolls type kid. Apparently she prefers to dress up in as many tutus as possible and throw all her dolls in the air, in some bizarre dance routine.

Anyway, I had fun making Olive, and if her future is abuse and neglect, I can live with that. The pattern was pretty easy to follow, and mostly unintimidating. There are some kind of surreal moments in sewing a doll- following instructions that to me sound very silence of the lambs- "attach hand skin to arm and repeat..." and so on. It puts the notions in the basket.

I know, but guys, I'm tired. Give me a break. Notions. HA! I'm off to bed.

Monday, December 8, 2008

deconstructed sweater (sort of)

In honor of my completion of this never ending semester, I made myself a scarf. I have loved this one scarf for a few months, but since the family's entire clothing budget for a month can't go to one superfluous accessory for Kate (what a shame), I have transferred covetousness to inspiration, and recycled an old sweater.

I bought that sweater at Savers (I love you Savers) and have worn it maybe twice. So I didn't feel bad cutting it up. And this was a perfect chance to finally learn how to use my overlock stitch for sewing knits, which I have been kind of terrified of doing. I didn't really know how to do it, but is still worked out okay, and maybe I will be less intimidated next time.

Anyway! New scarf! And it has a little pocket! Hurray!

Done with School!

One Semester to Go!

And then a practicum. But still- I'm so close!

In celebration of the fact that I do not have to think about libraries until mid January (except in the context of paying my always pricey fines) here are some pictures!

Wrennel swinging- sorry it's blurry. I love this picture. It's one of those rare photos where it feels like you can really see what she's like. Such a funny wonderful person.

It's hard to take a non-blurry picture these days. Our kids are all over the place. This is going to be a really fun Christmas. I need to get my act together, now that I'm out of school, and finish (or start...) making their Christmas presents. Jane, of course, will rather play with wrapping paper and boxes, but oh well.

At one of the bagillion McDonald's stops on the way home. This one had water pooled inside the playscape, so there were lots of wet knees, socks and bottoms when we got back on the road. Overall, a thirteen hour roadtrip with 4 kids is roughly as hellish as you'd think, but it went as well as it could, under the circumstances. As Sarah said, "This is a success because I didn't say anything unforgivable to a family member, and I don't have to do it again for a year." So yeah. It went well.

As I post this, Wren is in the bathroom, playing a mournful tune on the harmonica while pooping. It's pretty awesome. I imagine this is the kind of disclosure that Wren will find in a google cache at 15, and use as justification for running away to join the circus, but oh well. Really though, probably every kid in her high school will already have so much embarrassing/incriminating stuff on the internet at that point that it will be a non-issue. I hope.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Long May She Wave

Well that was a bit of a blogging hiatus there. Our lives have been pretty insane for the last week or so, and Chase and I are worn out.

A bright spot is that our immediate family is healthy- I probably don't have strep. And Ramona does not have paralyzing bacterial meningitis, so thank goodness for that. I am, however, day-dreaming about hospital stays again, which is never a good sign. Really I am dreaming more about our upcoming visit to LA. Even if we end up sitting at the airport in Salt Lake City for 48 hours, it will still be wonderful to just sit. And talk to Chase. And eat yogurt covered pretzels from the airport stand. I can't thank my mom enough for driving up here to babysit for the weekend. I think it will be the first time we've ever left Jane overnight. I feel the normal amount of worry and guilt I think, but also I am really loving the idea of not waking up at 5:30 to screeching and/or bed wetting for at least two mornings in a row. Sorry mom.

Jane is really just the screamingist baby in town. It's not so much sad screaming, as just every day sort of talky-screaming. Velociraptor screeching. I love her so much but I just wish there was a way to teach the concept of "inside voices" to a 15 month old.

In other news I have read the entire archive in the last few days, and am currently trying to decide between a web design class or an online retrieval class for my last semester. NERD.

And speaking of comics- this is my favorite thing I've seen lately. I can't remember if I linked to it before, but I'm still thinking about it so I might as well still be talking about it. Chase and I are similar in this way. When our life is complicated or hard, we get super dreamy and antsy. Happily, our antsy dreams so far always include each other.