Monday, May 31, 2010

Trip Around the Horn

O.K. we didn't quite go around the Horn, but we did take a nice long car trip today.
We left Saint Paul and drove south along the Mississippi River until we arrived at Lake Pepin.Laura Ingalls Wilder was born in Pepin, Wisconsin, and we thought we could swing around the bottom of Lake Pepin and come home on the Wisconsin side with a little stop in at the Little House in the Big Woods.
(some photos courtesy of the Eldest Hug-a-Bug, my husband)

It was a perfect day.

Lazy Sunday

All of the grandparents came over for a barbecue pot luck last night and I had so much fun that I didn't take any pictures.
It was a couple of hours of good food, good conversation and a thunderstorm. We were able to sit outside under our back patio roof and enjoy the rain for a long time before people started getting damp from the splashing.
Since I have dietary restrictions I decided to make the dessert so I could definitely eat it.
We had cupcakes which I tried to fill with frosting, but I think I needed to use a bigger tip...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Garden Overhaul

I am feeling energized by the wonderful weather lately, and am finally motivated to do something about the lackluster gardening situation in my backyard.
We have 2 BIG trees in our backyard, which means that we get a lot of shade.
This is a great thing for the summertime when it's nice and cool on a hot day.
It's not such a great thing for growing grass.
We've tried and tried shade tolerant seed, and really it's been a losing battle for the 6 years we've been here.
A couple of years ago I bought a garden kit from Springhill Nursery which has made one side of our shady yard into a little oasis of lovely flowers.
I decided to try it myself without the kit on the other side of the yard.
I went to a couple of great small garden stores, got some advice about good shade plants, and went to work.
You can see that we really need a change in these before photos.
The first thing I did was move our swing which had been crammed between the tree and the flimsy fence.
The second thing I did was remove the flimsy fence.
Then I laid out the new garden plot, helped along by the tree roots that I encountered, and marked it off by some leftover stones that I had in a big pile, which took care of two problems at once.The Hubby suggested that we swing the hosta border around from in front of the car to follow the line of the garden, then the back and side gardens could be one long garden.
He told me that I'd thank him for the best suggestion in the world, and here I am to agree.
Great suggestion, My Love.It took a couple of years for our other garden to get established, so I will wait and see with cautious optimism how this one will work out.
Now I just have to deal with the vermin who insist on eating my crops.
While I was outside just now, there were 3 squirrels having some kind of squirrel Olympics in my yard and my neighbor's as well as in the wheel wells of my car. I think they were hopped up on the sugar that they got from Eating MY Strawberries.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Beautiful Light

Driving home last night I had to pull over to get these.
The light was just too perfect.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Awavia Island

In Anne of Windy Poplars Anne Shirley lives next door to a little girl and they forge a life-long friendship.
One day she and Little Elizabeth draw a map of Fairytale Land.
I felt a little like this yesterday when the Younger Hug-a-Bug and I were talking about his new land Awavia Island.
This started when he told me that he wanted to be a pirate when he grows up and that I should join him along with his sister and dad, and we could shoot cannons at bad guys.
Then he described the island where we would live.
He also told me the happenings of a typical day on Awavia Island.
I can't decide if my favorite part is that Towels get you, or that Aliens come at 20:00 from 100,000,000 miles away and save the day!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Busy Week

After the intense blog-a-thon that was last week, this week has been so full of doing stuff that I have totally neglected this space.
We had the graduation of a certain 4-year-old from his preschool, and a field trip to the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the designing of a signature hat for a group of adventurers who are going on an amazing trip to Alaska.
The Institute was such fun! I went with the Kindergartners and they were delightful.
They asked lots of great questions, ("Why is that man falling off of the wall?" "Because the Assyrians wanted to show how good they were at conquering," was the reply)
but were also great listeners to our tour guide Kate.(I learned that Frank here was painted using an airbrush and 2 tablespoons of black paint)
The Elder Hug-a-Bug was in charge of the camera, and she was constantly snapping away as we walked from piece to piece.
I think she really enjoyed the experience, and I am eager to go there again when we aren't on a field trip schedule.
The Younger Hug-a-Bug had a magic show in his class the same day, one of the parents in the class is a birthday party magician, and he called The Younger up to do a trick.

He waved the magic wand and a snake appeared holding the special card. He really, really liked that!
The last thing taking up much of my mental energy this week is the designing of this hat.

Every year a MN camp sends a group of 5-7 boys and a group of 5-7 girls on separate trips to Alaska for an extended camping adventure.
It's the tradition for these groups to have a specially designed hat for them all to wear as a part of their camping uniform.
In past years I have seen groups of these kids come in to the Yarnery and we help them pick out yarn and consult on the pattern, though most of them have a pretty good idea of what they want.
This year, I got to design the hat myself.
One of the boys has an aunt who lives in the area and shops at the Yarnery and she and I have been collaborating on the design with a lot of input from the boys. It's kind of a lengthy process, the boys are spread across the country, and there have been many emails.
Nonetheless, it's been awfully fun! This is the first incarnation of the hat, and after some discussions here is the final product.They wanted to depict the rivers, glaciers, mountains and clear blue sky of the Alaskan wilderness.
I'm on my third hat, and the boy's families will knit the rest of the 7 total needed by the first week of June.
I hope the boys send a photo or two of them all in their hats up on a glacier.
What exciting things are going on out there?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Kids Clothes Week Challenge, Just One More

This one isn't really kid's clothing, so I didn't include it in the postings last week, but I did make it on Saturday.
The Younger Hug-a-Bug has trouble keeping track of his library books, so I made him a backpack just for them.The straps came out a little teeny bit short, but it works pretty well.
Top that off with the fact that he really likes it, and I call it a successful project.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Kids Clothes Week Challenge, Day 6

So I wimped out on Kid's Clothing Challenge Week and just whipped up some more shorts from a t-shirt, this time for the Elder Hug-a-Bug.
This is mostly due to the fact that we spent the morning doing this


I don't know if I'll sew anything today either, we're going to a barbecue.
I will, however, have some cake pictures later.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Kids Clothes Week Challenge, Day 5

Day 5 of the Challenge, and I have a dress to show for my exertions today.
I have had this fabric in my stash for a few, if not 4 or more, years, and I finally decided to cut into it. I sometimes get discontinued patterns from the Fabric Store where I work, and every once in a while I find out why they were discontinued.
This pattern was for a 6, and it hangs on her something terrible.
I am more than a little irritated, mostly with myself for not taking the 3 minutes to measure the girl and the pattern pieces.

Oh well, now I have to decide whether this dress gets packed away for a year or so, or if I take the bodice in.

She's being a good sport and wearing it anyway, just hiking up the shoulder straps when they get droopy.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Kids Clothes Week Challenge, Day 4

Yesterday's shorts were such a hit with the Younger Hug-a-Bug that I made him some pants today.
He and I were looking through my fabric stash and he asked if he could have Hungry Caterpillar pants.
So, I found a t-shirt that I didn't ever wearwhich matched the Caterpillar fabric, and here are his new pants.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Kids Clothes Week Challenge, Day 3

Day three, and I have a pair of shorts to show for it.
It's a goal of mine this week to use only stash, and I have been mostly successful (I did have to get the ribbon for the skirt).
I had the fabric for these pockets left over from a pair of shorts that made the Younger Hug-a-Bug last year.
The red knit was actually from someone else's stash that they handed down to me and I finally had a use for it.
I tried to take a photo of the Younger in his new shorts, but most of what I got was either underlit, or in motion.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Hi all,
First, I just have to say "Thank you!" for all the lovely comments that I receive here.
Blogger decided not to send your comments to my email, so I can rarely answer back, but I really appreciate your kindness.

Second, I am in need of some help.
I have a pattern that I am writing up, and I would like a couple of test knitters. The pattern is for this tank top and it is written for sizes 6, 8 and 10.
Would anyone like to test this for me?
I would like to have one of each size out there, so if you would like to test it, and know a 6, 8 or 10-year-old, let me know!
Thanks again, everyone, you really know how to make a girl feel special.