Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Snippets of our Valentine's . . . (just a week overdue)

dough necklaces for classmates. made by the boys.
inspiration compliments of enchantedmama.

homemade valentines designed by the boys.  mustaches requested, teeth optional. 

this one choose a vintage valentine background . . . a boy after my own heart.

felted valentine rings.  and, why yes that is a tattoo on my finger.tutorial found here at tiny owl knits...for the ring of course, not the tattoo...
a february outfit for the boy.  i fear i cannot resist a little boy in skinny jeans. 
jeans and white oxford compliments of the Gap.

a valentine's ensemble for the mama.  mismatched maybe, but festive nonetheless.
hot pink sweater a la gap, hue maroon tights, level 99 skirt via anthropologie.

a thoughtful present for mommy and daddy.  to each a half of a matching heart.  sly little devil, he made them in secret.
and, a surprise five course dinner date.
(parsnip puree . . . i think i'm in love)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween . . . what we were

Halloween has come and gone (4 days past in fact) and, before even more time has escaped me, I've decided to add a post.  Reason #1: it's been far, far too long since I last have.  Reason #2: this year, with very little last minutes panic, our outfits came together quite perfectly.
 This year, I went all out too.  Not only do we have a family Halloween Bash in the center of our neighborhood (you see, we live in a circle with tiny "danish-esq" row houses all built along the perimeter, facing in, with a large lawn smack in the center), but I'm also heavily involved. . . possibly too heavily . . . in my boys' school's parents' association . . . and our annual fundraiser is a Halloween themed festival.  Costumes are not necessarily required, but, seeing as how I worked the event, I thought the little ones would enjoy it.
 Little Red Riding Hood I was.  For some time, I've had this perfectly red, corduroy dress from Anthropologie sitting in my closet with no real purpose.  Paired with some black cabled tights, chocolate victorian boots, a longish cape, and an apron made from . . . of course, a vintage hankie, I think it came together nicely (fairytale nicely, not in a Halloween store racy kind of a way). 
The cape I made from eco felt I had hanging around. (Please don't ask why, I usually keep only the wool variety around for all of my crafting needs, truly. . . )  And, I found a pattern on the internet which I loosely, oh so loosely, followed. 
Why yes, I even had my mister follow along.  We found this "wolf" hat in my favorite hat shop (there on a completely different errand) and he couldn't resist.  Or, maybe, I told him he couldn't resist.  Either way, with his flannel jacket, I think we made quite the pair.  Just what I needed, a Big Bad Wolf.  Shhhh, please don't tell him I've posted this photo . . . admittedly not our best angles . . .
Even though, the original plan had been to be characters from Star Wars.  This was my 6 year olds idea and, although my bigger guy had been on board to begin with, he only was for the sake of his little brother.  And, on that same fateful day, while patiently waiting for his mother to browse the hat shop and, after admiring how distinguished his father looked in wolf ears, he spied this "rocketeer" hat and fell in love.
I'd originally thought to sew him his rocket tanks from brown flannel, after all I had an awfully lot purchased for some Star Wars costumes, but, on second thought and with better judgment, had my husband take over the task.  And, in no time at all they'd fashioned one from grandpa's recycle bin, spray paint, and a roll of duct tape . . . for the straps and all.
My little guy stuck to his guns, or lightsabers as they might be, and dressed as he'd intended the whole while.  As Luke Skywalker.  We found him a karate gi at a thrift store and the pants, boots, and, even the belt, were already in his closet.  I will admit too, that his hair was in perfect order for the occasion.
In the end, I am happy to report it was a happy holiday.  I didn't get overly wrapped up in worrying about getting things done, and they just happened.  Imagine that.  Here's hoping that our next holidays (mine and yours) go just as smoothly . . .
Happy Haunting (albeit a bit belated),
P.S.  I'm thinking next year we'll dress as characters from Peter Pan . . .  so long as we manage to be photographed from only our most flattering angles . . .

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Something Vintage ... Back to School Sock Hop

Well, the boys started school a few weeks back and, at their school, the beginning of the year is marked with an annual family Sock Hop.  Now, I'll admit, I'm a bit ashamed.  This marks the beginning of our 4th year at the school and we've never managed to attend.  (you see, I'm more about after school unwinding and much less for cramming in a bunch of afternoon activities.)  But this year, my oldest ,who's now in the 3rd grade and a bit harder to fool, caught wind that a dance was happening and I found it a bit hard to resist.  After all, I'd heard a whispering that most dressed up for the occasion, and, admittedly, I'll use any excuse to take one of my vintage dresses out of the closet.  There's no twisting of arms on this issue.
Believe it or not, I've had this dress since 1997.  I've had a love affair with vintage clothing for sometime now . . . you know, the kind of realish vintage that predates the 1960's . . . and, it seems, that on the rare occasion it can be found (much rarer even now than in 1997), it very rarely fits.  Lucky for me this dress was actually quite a bit large, in perfect condition (handmade even with a butterfly fabric!), and was easily taken in a few inches.  And worn it I have.  In the time since, I've lived in three states and had two little boys.  And, again, while I'm being completely honest, I've even, in recent years, had to take it out again an extra inch. (pat on the back to me for having the sense to fold in, not cut, the excess fabric the first time round. good girl Heidi.) 
Yes, I even went great lengths to rediscover my perfect shade of red lipstick and to revisit a once perfected perfectly coifed hairdo.  (that night, I liked wearing the lipstick so much in fact, that I'd thought to turn a new leaf . . . that was until my little guy refused to kiss me . . . even when the night was over and I'd wiped it clean off.)

They boys were a bit less interested in the dressing up aspect, but, on the fly, I was able to pull something together for them that worked out nicely . . . dark denim jeans (cuffed of course), white t-shirts with the sleeves rolled, and sweater vests.
I was, though, a bit dismayed to realize that I was one of the only adults dressed for the occasion (and those who had were wearing outfits of the cuffed jean and bobby sock variety).  Throughout the evening, I did field many a question as to where exactly I had found such a remarkable "costume" because, after all, Halloween is just around the corner?  Even though, there were a few kindred souls with a keen vintage eye, who recognized the dress for what it was.  Vintage perfection. 

As for the dance itself, the boys enjoyed it immensely.  There was a congo line, the hokey pokey, the electric slide (I'm not exactly sure how this fit the picture, but fun none the less).  And, although the dress was a bit too tight to sit down in comfortably (honesty Heidi, honesty), I enjoyed watching them have a wildly fun time and plan on attending next year even.  Definitely.

Hope your school year is hopping along just as nicely,

P.S.  I've been doing some brainstorming with a friend, a quite clever friend in fact, regarding the direction I aim to take with the blog and she suggested it should have more "me."  To date, I've been a bit shy, even reluctant I'll admit, to feature photos featuring . . . myself.  So, I've decided to take her advice and give it a try, though I've hit a slight bump in the road, . . . short of taking pictures of myself (imagine hand held high in the air, you know the drill), I'm having to get quite creative with my methods.  (i've also tried utilizing my husband, but, full of taunts, giggles . . . correction, chuckles . . ., his end product usually resembles a headless likeness of something I think might be me.) Therefore, while I'm passing the time researching the perfect tripod, I'm enlisting the help of  my 8 year old and am giving him complete artistic credit for both of the top photos of me.  If I do say so myself, job well done!  Clearly, his photographic sensibililities are not from his father's side of the family . . . hee, hee.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


On this day, fourteen years ago, I married the one I love.

My goodness.  Can hardly believe how fast time has flown by.  Even with such an early go of it.

Our love has weathered three states, two boys, countless ups and downs, innumerable crafty pursuits on my part,  immeasurable tattoos on his part, a vintage clothing store, a tour in the Marine Corps, life by the beach, and even ten long years in the desert.  And we're still going strong. 
So today, I'm thinking about us and how lucky I am to have found him so early on.  I'm so happy he's mine.  

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Jam'n . . . as in Apricot

Yesterday I made jam.  Apricot jam.  For the first time.
A friend of mine, who's clearly done this several times before, invited me to join her. Around here, apricot season is coming to an end and the lovely fruit was provided courtesy of her family's farm, Fairhaven Orchards (fitting name, don't you think?).  Contrary to what I'd been led to believe, no fancy equipment was necessay. Just apricots, sugar (or, in our case, organic agave), some Ball jars for canning, and her mother's recipe.
If I do say so myself, it turned out quite delicious.  I came home with twelve jars in all . . . possibly one for every month until next apricot season?
And maybe, possibly even next week, I'll try strawberry.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What I Made . . . A Case for a Case (a Knitting Needle Case that is)

My mother's birthday, her 60th in fact, just passed.  And, true to my usual form, I had many grand plans for the perfect gift.  However, I seem to have become infamous for gifting presents that are not quiet finished. 
This past Christmas for instance, I had the perfect item in mind, a strip quilt made up of the most frequently worn items from my late grandfather's closet.  Even though much cutting, sewing, and measuring was done in the last few weeks of December, it just didn't seem to come together in time.  I presented it to her Christmas morning, with binding still unattached, and was finally able to finish it up . . . this past March.

That said, I had yet another item in mind for her birthday which I embarked on with just two weeks to spare.  With the date fast approaching, I took a long, deep breath and came to the conclusion that there were not possibly enough hours in the days ahead to finish.  I decided instead on something much more manageable that she was in desperate need of, a case of sorts for all of her knitting needles and notions. 
I picked out some cotton fabric from my "someday" stash  and set to work (I'll admit even that one of the prints was purchased for another one of her birthday projects that never quiet came to be).  In no time at all, or at least in a much more manageable time frame, a fitting gift was born. 
 As for the other work in progress, it will just require much more time and a bit more ambition.  I figure it's May after all and, well, there is always next Christmas.  

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wednesday's Garden . . . Off to a Fine Start

After lots of digging, building, weed pulling, and wheel barreling (done mostly by my husband I'll admit), we have our summer's garden underway. We made a trip, five weeks back, to the Garden Company in Santa Cruz and purchased our fair share of seedlings. I planted, the boys watered, caught a few butterflies, and watered some more and it seems our garden is off to a wonderful start.
In addition to vegetables this year, we thought to give some fruits a try too. We've added some strawberries to our garden space as well as some blueberries and raspberries to the boy's raised bed in our backyard. We expanded our "plot" this year and thought to add a circular planting space to the center to add a bit of whimsy for the boys. Planting the taller growing vegetables at the back of the circle with shorter growing varieties at the front, we thought it would be a fun place for the boys to hide and a secret spot for our family's eyes only. We used some plastic boarder purchased at the local hardware store for just a couple of dollars (cringe . . . plastic, I know, but it does curve quite nicely . . .). Then, since we were short a small length for the inside, used some of our empty glass beer bottles to finish it up. They were patiently awaiting a trip the recycling center, but I'm sure they are much happier now.Two of the raised beds were saved for the boys only. My littlest loves yellow pear tomatoes, so we planted one in his space along with lemon cucumbers and some lettuce varieties . . . I'm thinking these might do well planted underneath the higher growing vegetables.

So now, the majority of the work has been done and all that's left is to occasionally water and plant just a few more things. All of the rain and sunshine we've gotten lately has helped us along and, I'm happy to say, that our garden is blossoming quite nicely.

I am happy too to see that, despite the hard work and dedication required to keep the garden going, the boys are enjoying themselves as well.

This past week, my son's school hosted an open house and, for the event, his class had created a "kid's town." Each child had created a business or service of sorts to contribute and, among the Targets, electronic stores, schools, and fire departments, my sweet boy had thought to create a Garden Store . . . completely unbeknownst to me. He decided that making his town green and beautiful was just as important as any utility, store, or service and that makes my heart smile.