Sunday, August 31, 2008

Painting Complete!

I am ever so pleased with the results of the hard work of my good friends the Mamas of the Craft!

The whole living room took about 2 hours and that is including painting the radiators.

My difficult decision now is where to hang up our art.

Should it be in the same places as before, where I have filled the holes left by nails?

Will I have to be creative about picture placement and find a new arrangement?

Time will tell.

On another note, I have finished phase I of the Pre-K backpack.

All that remains is the lining, and I still have a week since Pre-K starts on the 8th!
Finally, we have reached a strange time in our lives.
We have finished out our Netflix Queue.
Does anyone have any suggestions of good movies to rent?
I hope everyone elses long weekend is as productive and relaxing as mine has been,

Friday, August 29, 2008


Our house is one of these.

We purchased our house about 4 1/2 years ago.

We were literally having a baby during the process.

I have spoken of this before.

Anyway, the result of that decision is that I have felt little inclination to do anything about the various states of disrepair that surround us due to lack of sleep or worry about baby safety.

We have finally reached a point where doing a job is not so scary, and we have decided to tackle the living room walls.

The past week has been filled with taping up and spackling cracks, and last night the Hub and myself totally kicked butt on the priming,

as the Mamas of the Craft will be coming tonight to assist me in the final painting!

Probably my favorite part of this project is this-

Tape Guy.

More updates to come...

Monday, August 25, 2008

How could I forget?

In response to lv2knit: I did go to the Creative Activities building and to the Fine Arts exhibit.
I think I forgot to talk about those places because I took no pictures there...
Great stuff in both places this year!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

there's no place I'd rather go-ta

If you live in the Twin Cities, you know that it's time for the Fair.
When I say "the Fair" I am, of course, referring to the Great Minnesota Get-Together, the Minnesota State Fair.
I love the Fair.
I love the animals,

I love the people watching,

I love the food.
(tee hee I could'nt help taking a picture of this one)
(These homemade tater tots were one of the new foods this year, I highly recommend them.)

I have been a Fair-goer for many years, and I have always had my mainstay events.
(in no particular order)
1. Must have a Corn Dog. (not a Pronto-Pup, most Minnesotans will have a die-hard preference)
2. Must have Tiny Tim Donuts (no other stand will do for this Fair-goer)
(These were particularly delicious, so fresh I had to wait for them to get sugared and bagged.)
3. Must take a trip through the barns and see the lovely fluffy cows and happy goats.
4. Must have All You Can Drink Milk
(For Real, all you can drink for a dollar! Of course, way back when I was a kid it was only a quarter...)
5. If we can swing it, go back in the evening after a nice nap.
With the addition of kids to our party, we have added a few new must-dos;
1. Must go to the Kidway and take some rides. (the Hug-a-Bugs rode on 6 and 7 rides respectively)
2. Must take a tour of the Little Farm Hands exhibit
3. Must take a ride on the Space Tower or Sky Ride or both.
As a family we spent from 8:30 to 1:45 or so at the Fair, and after we went home for the Younger Hug-a-Bug's nap my lovely parents-in-law took the kids for the evening and the Hubby and myself went back for a little grown-up date time.
These folks are just ordinary Fair-goers that I saw yesterday. I loved how you could see their shadows holding hands.

A fun day with the whole fam, no tantrums, nobody darted into a giant crowd, couldn't have had better weather, really the perfect Fair experience.

mmm. my mouth is still watering thinking about the mini donuts...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pattern for backpack

I forgot to mention the pattern number for the backpack.
Butterick B5054

Thursday, August 21, 2008

too busy to blog?

I have been so busy, I have not even had time to report on what is going on craft-wise 'round here.

I am, surprise surprise, in the midst of many projects.

I have been working day and night.

Well, not that hard.

I do have multiple sewing and knitting projects that I can place in the active column.

First, I am working on Eastlake from the new Norah Gaughan book Woodland Gothic.

This is a picture of the back.

In a reaction against the licensed character and princess backpacks that abound at the Target, I have decided to make the Elder Hug-a-Bug a school bag, she won't let me say backpack for some reason.

Here is a picture of the front and back.

The main fabric is corduroy, and the lining is a fantastic Kokka print with pigs, apples and birds that I scored in the remnant bin at Treadle.

This disaster area is my sewing table, I know, you can hardly see it beneath all of the, let's just say it, Crap.

There are at least 3 pieces of clothing needing mending, the Beatrix Potter quilt that has yet to be quilted because I used too lofty a batting and I need to take it apart, again, the yarn for many small projects, and the backpack stuff.

I am also working on a secret project that is delicate enough that I can't work on it while the Hug-a-Bugs are awake, for fear of their globby hands and feet.

With all of that on the docket, what else could I do tonight, but bake chocolate chip cookies.

I even had plenty of dough to freeze for future cookie jonesing.

Don't get too bogged down out there,


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Gardening Excitement

There has been a lot of activity in the yard the last few days.

It had come to my attention a couple of weeks ago that we should cut down our pussy willow tree.

There were four or five frost cracks, and the experts at the MN Landscape Arboretum told me that we should take the tree out before it falls on something or someone.

So, in preparation, I had to move a bunch of stuff out of the way.

On Friday, I moved two clematis vines, 6 snapdragons and a begonia.

I also bought two new lilac bushes, pictures to follow, the battery is recharging...

Saturday, we started chopping down our tree.
Chopping with an axe is sloooowww.

I think, beyond our inexperience, our main problem was that our axe was too dull.

So, after about 45 minutes of chopping, we decided on the Sawzall, not the best choice.

Finally, after my across the alley neighbor offered us the use of his chainsaw, we cut it down.

Now, there is a huge bare spot in the yard.

This is the before,

and here is the after with the stump
Well, I just needed a picture of something growing and vibrant, so here is my new salvia in the back garden. I managed to get one with a bee in flight.

We, the Hug-a-Bugs and myself, built a new fairy house this morning.

I dug all of these rocks up when I put in our new lilac bushes.

Chimneys courtesy of the younger Hug-a-Bug.

Note that in the first photo the oven is closed, and in the second the oven door is open. That was all the Elder Hug-a-Bug.

Get out there and garden!


Monday, August 18, 2008

Play on!

As some of you know, I am a musician and music lover.
As you may not know, I played french horn in orchestra from senior year of High School through College.

Another fun insight into my past is that I, along with the rest of my family, have always loved watching the DCI Finals on public tv.

We would wait all year for the big event, we'd all sit down and act as judges in our family room.
It seems like the last few years they haven't shown it on TPT, but I may have just missed it.

Well, I will tell you that nothing is like the real thing, and last night I attended Sounds of Minnesota Drum and Bugle Corps show.

There were 5 Corps and some were pretty good, but there were 2 that stood out from the rest.

The first is the Kilties from Racine, WI, who along with playing a fantastic program of Renaissance! music arranged for Drum Corps, they all marched in Kilts.

The second group, and the group that won the competition, and the group that has as a member my little sister, is Minnesota Brass.

Great music, good company and concession stand hot dogs; I couldn't ask for a nicer evening out.

Thanks Mom and Dad!

Great job Donna!

Have a lovely Monday everyone!


p.s. Incaknits, did you recognize Historic Ettinger Field?

Friday, August 15, 2008


I couldn't refrain from a little kid worship today.
First, the Younger Hug-a-Bug has been playing with my tape measure lately and asking "How tall is me?"

Second, the Elder was upstairs playing and when I told her that lunch was coming soon she said "O.K. Mama, and by the way, I love you!"
Sometimes this mom thing pays off big time.
Have a great day!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Many years ago, when I was merely a freshman in High School, I met a boy who made me laugh.
About four years later we started dating.

About four years later, again, we got married.

Exactly nine years later we find ourselves here, today, still laughing.

I love you Brian, and I am lucky to wish you a Happy Anniversary today.


Wednesday, August 13, 2008


There is a new blog love in my life:
Shutter Sisters

This is a site dedicated to celebrating photography.

Every day they have a challenge, or a question to be answered in photo form.

It might be my favorite moment of the day when I can choose from my own photos to contribute to the daily post.

This morning, the theme was Surprise.

When I woke up this morning, I was surprised by dense fog outside my window.
I went out to take some pics, and while I was shooting, I saw this:

This shot looks like black and white, but if you look to the left, there is a red stop sign.

All in all a most surprising photo, and I was grateful to find it.

What has surprised you lately?


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

August from the fifth lamp

Looking a little foreboding as the thunderstorms approach...

See you soon,

Monday, August 11, 2008


I was having a less-than-successful parenting morning today, so we took a walk through the woods by our house.
It is remarkable to me how the woods help me instantly to feel more relaxed and able to be excited about the tiny wonders around me.
When the Elder Hug-a-Bug found a teensy caterpillar hanging from a string, we were all of us calm enough to watch as it landed on the ground and took a trip across the path.

On a more successful note, I finished the BSJ Snowsuit.

I put in the zipper this morning.

Siobhan was glad to act as model this morning, it's a little big on her, but that should bode well for its fitting on a human baby.

Now it is time for lunchtime dumplings.

They are in the water right now, and they will disappear as fast as they cool.

Recipe from Martha Stewart Living Feb 2008.

Wishing you serenity,