Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Our Snow Day

I'm late posting this, but I can't resist sharing our huge batch of "frolicking in the snow" photos from Tuesday, so...

Wren loved it. She was immediately a huge fan.

Jane was... less so.

We took a break to drink some hot chocolate, and to find a warmer coat for Jane.

When we headed back out, Jane was ready for round two. There was more snow on the ground, and she really loved stomping and dancing around in it.

After a while there was the obligatory (but still fun) snowball fight.

And then we spent the rest of the day curled up on the couch eating popcorn and watching movies.

At this point, Spring is looking pretty awesome. I'm glad we had a fun snow time at the tale end of winter (Hurray Snow!) but seriously, Texas. What is up?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Car Knitting

We went to Beaumont this weekend, with an awesome layover to visit some of our favorite Houstonians.

I remember going to the Houston Zoo as a kid but I don't remember it being so great. We were all pretty wowed by the habitats. Wren hadn't been to the zoo since we left LA and Janey had never been. They had a blast, and we will definitely be back.

The actual drive wasn't too bad. I finished the 'Autumn Hat' last week, and took it apart to make it more slouchy on the trip. It feels so wrong to cut into your knitting. Very tense, especially in a moving car.

Chase assures me that it turned out okay, although I think it could still use more slouch. This is the first hat I've made for myself since a rolled brim hat I made the month I started knitting, 7 years ago. Weird.

Seeing family was great, and we got to go on what was basically a catered double date with my BFF and her husband (thank heavens he was there, or Chase would not have survived). It was an alumni event for my middle school, honoring our retired headmaster, and was, strangely enough, a really great time.

We're back in town now, and I admit to not exactly embracing another week with gusto. Forget gusto, I am not embracing anything. I am sitting on the bleachers with my arms crossed, gossiping and watching my classmates slow dance to Desperado.

Ah, middle school.

Anyway, yeah. I need another weekend.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Emergency Teacher Gift

A few weeks ago at the beginning of this never ending yet somehow also technically short month, Wren's teacher sent home the school schedule and noted that this Wednesday, in addition to marking Ash Wednesday, the class would also be celebrating her half birthday...

As someone with a birthday stuck right in the middle of summer, I totally sympathize with the problem (no teacher birthday = no gift certificate to your favorite nail salon and sushi place... oh is that just our school?) But also I think there's probably a cut off age for half birthdays....maybe before thirty?

Regardless, as our family does not contribute the "suggested teacher gift donation amount" of $75 per child, and Wren loves her teacher anyway, I end up making the presents.

So far this year Wren helped me whip up a batch of orange body scrub from the Martha recipe for the Christmas gifts, and Chase and I made a bunch of apple butter for previous birthdays. This is the last of the year though, and I remembered that note about 5 minutes before I wanted to be sleeping.

Last night I grabbed the scrap bag and the hem of an old pair of pants and pieced this little rice eye bag. It's just a sloppy rectangle, basically, first sewn right sides together, with a little opening, and then top stitched to keep the rice from escaping. I added a few drops of lavender/chamomile essential oil to the rice, to make it nice and calming, I hope.

I hope Wren's teacher likes it. We have a parent conference coming up on Monday, so if she is allergic to rice/and/or/chamomile and lavender I guess I'll find out then.

And Jane's conference is this Friday morning.

Jane. Who is 2. And has a conference. Possible discussion topics:

- How is the pooping going?
- And what about the nose picking?

STAY TUNED. I will find out all the details soon enough.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

More Valentines, for your hair

I decided the girls were getting enough candy from other sources for Valentines day this year, so we went more low key.

I have seen tutorials for these around for a while, and at 9 on Saturday night, I decided the time was right to try them.

It's kind of crazy how addictive they are. I made one, and then I had turned out the button basket and reorganized the closet to get better access to the felt while Chase was still saying, "Um... should I pause Hulu? Are you coming back in here?"

The little purple rose clip sort of disappears into Wren's dark hair, so I probably won't make more of those. But the girls really liked them, and since they had chocolate to unwrap from their Nana too, they weren't sad about not getting candy.

Also we made sticky cinnamon rolls from the Artisan bread book, so that was some comfort.

And in the process of turning the craft closet upside down, I found this:

I can't remember what it's original purpose was. I traced one of Wren's drawings of her dad and embroidered it, I think it was supposed to be a Father's Day gift last year? Maybe a moleskin cover? It's way too big for that, which maybe explains why it's been a crumpled lump in the bottom of one of the fabric baskets for a year. But its long disappearance has endeared it to me, and now I think it's pretty cute. Maybe I'll look around for a frame and find a place to hang it up.

Monday, February 15, 2010


So I'm glad that week is over. Valentines = not my favorite. Wow. We got through the THREE school V-day parties, the candy exchanges, the gifts from Nana, etc. Jane brought flowers to school for her teachers, and Wren made this mess on the kitchen table:

In the process of making these:

The blurry pictures are from the iphone, I forgot to charge the actual camera. I guess I could put them all through ShakeIt and make them cute and retro? They'd still be blurry though. We got the idea for the little matchboxes from various adorable craft blog links that I've long ago forgotten (Sorry! I think it might have been here). Wren loves putting things into smaller things. Heaven is the container store, I guess. And so this was a good craft for her. Lots of tiny little detail work, which is perfect for our afternoon downtime, when she's been on the computer long enough, and Janey is napping, and the weather is terrible.

We made a big batch of them. She ate more candy than she put in the boxes, but that's the point of Valentine's Day, right?

Speaking of making things, this is the face Jane has been making for the last week or so:

I think she is ready for Spring.

Monday, February 1, 2010


So I have been a bit blue lately, and I think it's partly due to the aimlessness that comes from finishing a big project like school. I'm done, finally, and that's great. But also my days are lacking the drive and focus that I put into completing that one big goal.

And of course my job search is sucking. It's not a huge surprise, but it's disappointing anyway. The jobs I am applying for pay roughly the same per hour as the job I had in high school at the Marble Slab, so that is somewhat dispiriting.

Also we will be fixing our car, instead of taking our long-dreamed of trip to LA this spring.

Also both children have colds and are missing school.

All that is to contributing to the explosion of comfort knitting going on over here.

First up was the antler scarf. I finished it, and then modeled it, looking all emo. I am not smiling because I am slightly pissed at Chase in that picture, and also my neck was super itchy. Stupid wool.

Then came the pair of long overdue ruffle scarfs-

Wren is modeling the red version, and her Aunt Sarah will soon be the recipient of the bluish purple one. Or purplish blue. I think this pattern would be really pretty in a soft oatmeal yarn, if anyone is interested...

I knit a little eyelet cap with the leftovers from that one, that I really have no plans for. It's from this book, and it knit up easy and fast.

Next I cast on for the fantastic Marsan watchcap which is a super addictive pattern. If you make one of these you will be making more for sure. I love that twist stitch, it's so fast and mindless. It goes with you from sermons at church to Project Runway at home. Totally portable thoughtless knitting.

Of course I say that, and then I have to confess that I forgot to do the ribbing until I was about 4 inches in, and realized I was not going to be making that hat after all. So I just ended up with a simple, although somewhat wackily decreased cap. It fits Chase, but I have a feeling that it will find a new home pretty soon.

And currently I am halfway through this little number, for a tiny tiny baby I haven't met yet.

We can thank February light for that picture. The colors are actually cream and purple, the leftovers from Wren's stripey leggings last year.

And I just bought the pattern for the Autumn hat from Jane Richmond. I'm really looking forward to getting some yarn to start that. It came with a little extra baby hat pattern, so that's awesome. Otherwise I probably would have gone for the 'Jane' pattern, which I love.

And I have also recently been overtaken by a crazy urge to make the Joelle Hoverson baby bonnet from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I had that book from the library at some point, and had zero interest in that pattern. But now when I see pictures of it, I want to be making it RIGHT NOW. Weird.

In short, I'm spending the time I used to spend on homework, either on Ravelry or knitting and watching terrible shows. Right now I'm making the first pot roast I've ever made, and my biggest "leaving the house" plans this week involve a truly luxurious solo trip to Savers on Wednesday morning when the girls are in school. In short, for a lady with a very empty uterus, I am doing an awful lot of nesting. I think it's just February. If I can just shoulder the joblessness, sickness, angsty sun and playground withdrawal until the 14th, the chocolate will see me through to March. And then real life can start again.