Sunday, March 31, 2013


Well, the mystical rodent arrived and hid its candy-laden surprises all over the house.
I got a bee in my Easter bonnet last night that the kids should have individual baskets, so I wove these up while watching a very entertaining Top Gear mini-series.
They're rough, and look just about how you would expect a couple of baskets made on the couch until 1:30 AM to look, but they did the job.

 (this blur is The Younger heading out to find eggs)

Happy celebration of spring-time renewal and rebirth everyone!

Friday, March 29, 2013

13 of 52

 Week 13 of 52

The Elder, looking lovely on a warm Spring day.
The Younger, he made his breakfast from the scrambled eggs to the toaster waffle. You can see how proud he is.
The Youngest, always a smile from this sweet lady.

To the Park!

We took a walk to the playground down the street and while I tried to figure out the camera on our new Kindle Fire (it's on the front, with the display, very disorienting), the kids played in the shin-deep puddles.

I could definitely get used to this sunlight stuff.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

In Between Time

This is the time of year that I find the hardest.
During the day the temperatures are getting a little warmer each day, the sun is out sometimes, the urge to go and play at the playground is strong, even if your boots only barely clear the 6 inch-deep puddles under the swings.
In the morning, however, the puddles have frozen, the roads are treacherous, the sun which lured you outside without your gloves is no match for the still below-freezing temps.
I try to remind myself that this is what March is like in Minnesota. It's all part of the transition into Spring.
Winter has never been my favorite time. I tend to hibernate when the temperature is below 30; knitting, baking, stories, this is how I spend the darker months of the year.
 The muddy footprints leading to a waiting bicycle give me hope that this in between time will be short-lived.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

12 of 52

12 weeks gone, this year is flying.
Joining Jodi from Che + Fidel

Saturday, March 16, 2013

11 of 52

It was a week of outings. 
The Youngest and I visited the Children's Museum on Thursday. 
 This afternoon we visited the local zoo for a little humid time.

The Younger looks a little concerned for the Amphibians in Crisis.
Joining Jodi for 52 Portraits.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

10 of 52

Trying my hand at a few sketches again. I drew all of these from photos.
The Younger, looking pensive after I asked him the question "What's your favorite part of school?"
The answer, after this moment, was "RECESS!"

The Elder, feeling a little low today. Asthma rears its ugly head, and after a relatively illness-free winter.

The Youngest, visiting the penguins at the zoo.
Better late than never, I'm, linking up with Jodi today.

Can I Watch Something?

Can I Watch Something.
It's the first question out of their mouths after they come home, it's the first thing they ask on a weekend morning.
I usually say yes, since they're only allowed 1/2 hour, but then I realize that we had some guidelines about chores and music practice before screen time that I have been totally forgetting to enforce.
So this morning, at a very, VERY early hour I had a brainstorm.
We have tried chore lists in the past, and they've always had an aspect to them that made them hard to keep going.
The first one we had was made up on the computer and we'd check off the chores that were finished and have to print out a new one every few days. So then we'd forget to do that and there was no more chore list.
The second list had columns for finished and unfinished and we kept them straight with small magnets that we'd slide back and forth. With the arrival of the Youngest it's better that we don't have small magnets around anymore, so that system broke down as well.
I have high hopes for this list, however, because it's self contained, it's completely reusable, and there's a goal that the kids want to achieve.
I made it this morning out of a GoGurt box, and it took about 10 minutes.
What are your screen limits? How do you organize your chore lists?
Enjoy your Saturday, All.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Cat Hat

A couple of weeks ago The Younger asked me to make him a hat that looked like a cat, and I finished it up last night.
He gave it its first test-drive today and pronounced it good. (despite his sister saying that the nose and whiskers looked like a spider)
Anyone else have something fun coming from your needles?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Yarn Along

It's Wednesday, and that means it's time to Yarn Along with Ginny!
The Younger requested a hat that looks like a cat. We went to the Yarnery and he chose his own yarn, and now I am about 2/3 of the way through. It came out just a bit short, so I'll add some ear flaps after I get the cat ears done on the top.
Also, this week, I did a little revision on the hair of this dolly. To make her hair I crocheted a circle of mohair and attached it to her head. It came out a little renaissance looking -

so I gave her some buns and softened the lines around her face.

In reading news, I finished up Bossypants, it was (unsurprisingly) hilarious.
I was laughing so hard at one point I had to put down the book and take a break.
Now I'm back into A Dance with Dragons.
It's the last book in the series for now, and I don't want to finish it too quickly, but I really want to know what's going to happen to all of my favorite characters!
Joining Ginny this morning, head over there to see more knitting fun and great book suggestions.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Birthday Gift

I love to sew and knit and generally make stuff. 
You may have seen evidence of that on the old fifthlampdown once or twice. 
One side-effect of this love of making is that both of the older kids have many, many dolls. 
I love when the kids are invited out to birthday parties, because it means that I can make dolls who get to live elsewhere.
The Youngest was invited to a 1st birthday this evening, and I spent today making this little lady.

I used this pattern from Storybook Toys - 
I did the hair shorter, I may add little buns, I haven't decided. 
I also skipped the bottom of the feet, since I was really procrastinating and that part of the assembly would be fussy and time-consuming and I had about 5 minutes to sew the pieces together with the machine this morning.
 I had a vision of a little pair of red overall shorts, so I knitted up a pair for her.
The consensus is that she needs a little shirt too, so I think I'll whip up one of those as well.
You may ask, why still work on it if the party is today, and my reason is that The Youngest looked like this the last time I saw her awake 

I think we'll just have to get the dolly to our friend at another time, so I have a little extra time to fuss with her.
Happy Weekend, All.

9 of 52

Week 9 of 52 portraits.
This week we have each kid doing what they love best -
The Youngest, clapping and being happy.
The Younger, eating a cookie and being silly.
The Elder playing piano (though you can't see her fingers, that's what she's doing there.)
Joining Jodi at Che + Fidel.

Friday, March 1, 2013


I've been working a little bit each day on drawing. 
The sketch I posted about last week got some revisions. I like it better, though it still doesn't really look like The Youngest.
Beyond revising that sketch I tried using some different techniques - 
This one is a gesture drawing - this was all I could get before she grew tired of whatever we were doing at the time.
I also tried what I think of as cheating - I traced her face shape from a printed photo and filled in the details.
Still not perfect, but it was a good training exercise for eye shape and mouth placement.
My biggest difficulty is noses.
They never end up looking like the kids' noses, no matter how many times I erase and try again.
I did this one of The Elder over a few days, both from life and using a photo as a reference.
The mouth was my tricky spot on this one. She looks kind of glum.

For this sketch of The Younger I took a photo as inspiration.
I keep thinking these sketches are how the kids will look when they're older.
Something is off about the proportions, though I couldn't tell you whether it's the fact that the mouths are too big,or the faces too long.
This one is vaguely Younger-like, but it doesn't quite get him. I'll do more work on this one when I have him here, I think.

It's been since my senior year of college that I took any drawing classes (and as my facebook and mail keeps reminding me, that was 15 years ago), and I have really enjoyed taking a little time each day to work on these.
I hope I keep up the momentum, I am a bit of a flibbertigibbet,  truth be told, and sometimes it's hard for me to stick with things.

It's March! which means that Spring can't be far off.
Enjoy your day, friends.