Saturday, August 28, 2010

Vintage Style

I have a thing for aprons.  I admire the vintage-style ones with neat little details.  They are much more fun to wear than modern, more utilitarian (ahem, rectangular) canvas ones.

I bought this one from Etsy a while back.  I love it and wear it quite often.
Of course, one apron is never enough and when I found a lovely pattern at  Tip Nut from 1945,  I ran to my box of fabric and found just the right thing:

The gingham check with daisies feels so old-fashioned and the red trim adds just the right touch.  That being said, I don't want to see red bias tape again for quite a long time!
The pattern was challenging since I had to draw out my own pattern pieces on newspaper before cutting everything out.  I actually used a serving platter and a saucer to get the curves right on the bodice!  The directions were also a bit confusing, so I used them as a general guideline only and did my own thing when assembling.  (Thank you, 4-H sewing teacher!!)  As you can see from the close-up picture I cut out my pocket on the bias, so that I wouldn't have to match up the tiny checks on the pattern.  I left the red trim off of the bottom of the apron as well.

The apron covers me up so I can be as messy as I want in the kitchen and the strap in the back keeps it from falling off of my shoulders.  The daisies make me smile.

From cutting to assembly, it took up a single Saturday afternoon.  Should I try this one next??

Friday, August 27, 2010

Is the Pendulum Swinging Back?

I am embarking on a new volunteer job that requires a criminal records check.     I was pretty sure I didn't want Matthew to be able to run around the police station while I was doing my business there so I hooked him up to his harness while in the parking lot.  As I stood in an office, waiting for the officer to process my paperwork she glanced up at Matthew and asked me if I ever got rude remarks about having him "on a leash".  I told her I didn't really, and more than once I have been asked where I bought it.

It seems that when this officer had children many years ago she was told by a couple of old biddies that she was being mean by having her child on a harness.  She went on to explain that she ran out to buy one after her child narrowly missed being run over by a car on a busy street.

Fast forward about half an hour.  We are now at the library and since we had to cross a busy and dimly lit parking garage, I put Matthew's harness back on--he was not in the mood to walk nicely with me and hold hands.  Once we got inside another woman glanced down at me and asked me yet again if I have ever been accused of being mean for having my boy on a leash.  She also used one on her little ones (now my age) and had to suffer negative comments from rude strangers.

I don't use the harness all the time--I do like my boy to be able to run free when it is appropriate, but in crowded places like the mall or when we went to the fair this spring, I am so very thankful I made the investment.  To me, letting Matthew have the chance to walk around and get tired out is much better for him than being tied up in a stroller all the time.  It is also a lot easier to pack a little harness in my purse than it is to lug our stroller around.

Are harnesses one of those things that fell out of fashion, but are back in style again?  Can I be hopeful and think that people are becoming more accepting of choices parents make now?  Maybe I give off a "mind your own beeswax" attitude that discourages rude comments.  (Oh wait.  Strangers save those for me and my body--they leave my kids out of it)

I can't explain it, but I will definitely take words of encouragement whenever they are given.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Why do I do this to myself?

I just finished reading The Road by Cormac McCarthy. 
For those of you unfamiliar, it is not at all a happy story.  It is set in a scorched, post apocalyptic world and centers around two characters:  A man and his young boy who are clinging to survival in a dead world.  I could not put this thing down.  Every page was sad.  Every chapter full of despair and hopelessness.  I finished it in two days.  I had to see who was going to make it out alive.  My life is no better having read this book.  I am quite sad and depressed.  I feel mentally exhausted.  I look at my children and wonder What If.  I feel a pang of guilt when I turn on the faucet and clean cold (or hot) water comes out.  I am deeply saddened when throwing out things the characters would be so very happy to even have a scrap of.

I know that these things are what make this book so well written.   I felt everything the characters felt.  I became very emotionally invested in them.  The scenes in the book were laid out beautifully and clearly.  Did I mention this book won a Pulitzer? 

This has happened before.  Angela's Ashes and We Were the Mulvaneys also left me feeling empty and sad inside.  You would think I I would have learned my lesson.  As I was devouring The Road last night Richard told me over and over to stop reading it and walk away.   He knew how it would make me feel.

I doubt I will ever learn my lesson, but I do need something more uplifting to tide me over until the next installment in my beloved Pendragon series comes out in paperback.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Everyone's a critic.

I snagged a copy of the soundtrack to the movie Swingers while at the secondhand store this morning.  I listened it while putting away groceries and making lunch when we got home.  This particular song came on and of course I had to start dancing.

Charlotte then shot me a dirty look and said dryly:  "Mom.  Stop.  I don't like your dancing."

Sheesh!  Can't a girl have a little fun while doing chores?????

If you click on the link I dare you to sit still!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Good Hair Day.

I was bored yesterday so I spent the morning colouring over my blonde highlights with some Manic Panic.  (Deadly Nightshade, if you are curious) Richard took a couple of pictures so I could update my Facebook page.

I love this shot.  The only thing missing is Emmett, but as those of you with more than two kids know, it is SO hard to get three kids smiling for one shot, so we take what we can get!

If only I could look that cute on my driver's license!

Don't worry, I'll be back to writing stories soon....I am still in shock from back to school shopping at the moment.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

We have some Winners!!!

Today is the day I give away the prize from my Playhouse Disney Draw.  Random Dot Org chose rocyn!  Congratulations.  Watch out for my email so I can get your prize to you.

I also have a winner for my trivia contest.
Remember this picture?
Well, as soon as I saw it, I thought of the Bremen Town MusiciansAshlee Rose thought so too.  I will get your book out to you very soon.

Congratulations to the winners!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Blue Steele*

This car is very special to Richard.  He has had it many years.  10 years ago he paid a body shop $800 to have it repainted.  This paintjob was starting to show a lot of wear and tear, but Richard didn't want to drop another grand on a new paintjob for this old car.  He took matters into his own hands.  He did some research and found out that you can paint a car by yourself for around $50.  Off to Home Depot we went. Why did I go?  I was the colour consultant.  So, over the course of three days Richard sanded, taped, primed, painted, sanded and then painted some more.

He is finally finished. It looks great. 

Look, kids! This is a cassette player.** It plays music on a special magnetized tape that rolls from reel to reel in that black plastic case. Mommy and Daddy have had to change their music formats FOUR times in their lives. Hey, just for fun, ask Grandma and Grandpa about 8-Tracks!

Just to the left of the cassette deck is the dash mounted bottle opener. Klassy.  They sure don't make cars like they used to!!

We hope Matthew isn't too traumatized by the change.  As I have mentioned before, Matthew loves this car.

*Do you like how I so deftly snuck that Zoolander reference in?

**The tape in the deck is the B52's Cosmic Thing. I don't know why I still have it. If you suddenly have Love Shack stuck in your head, you are around my age.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Makeover Time!

Today is the last day of vacation for us.  We head into the Big City to pick up our little people tomorrow.  In the meantime, I finished touching up the paint in Matthew's room today and put everything back in.  Want to see the before and after shots??  Of course you do!!

Before:  There was an ugly and unsafe blind, peeling wallpaper border and too-small crib.
After: Fresh paint, new curtains (Sewed by me!  Thank you 4-H sewing teacher!), new bed, and some fun wall decals.

I didn't think I was going to repaint after removing the (blasted, stubborn, hateful) wallpaper border, so the bedding and curtains were decided before I realized the border had been there long enough to damage the paint underneath it.  We actually had the paint custom-tinted to match what was there before.  This meant only one coat was required to spruce everything up.  I can't believe the difference curtains over that old dusty blind made to the overall look of the room.  I am very happy with the results and hope Matthew isn't too shocked to see his crib gone. Ok, so technically, a mattress on the floor does not constitute a bed.  We find that transitioning from a crib to a mattress on the floor is much easier than going from a crib to a bed that is off the floor.

Selling the crib is a milestone for us.  It means there will be no more babies in our house.  I am on to a new phase of parenting now.  I am entering uncharted waters. I now have Kids in my house!

This is just a gratuitous shot of a great piece of art Richard's Aunt gave us.  It decorated her boy's rooms as babies and I just love it.  Do you know what story these characters are from??  I am going to make you guess!  It reminds me of a  favourite story from my own childhood.  In fact, let's make this interesting.  The first person to guess correctly will win a copy of the book.  (This is also a reward for reading this far!)

Oh, I wasn't the only one redecorating on our vacation.  Richard undertook a project of his own, in between helping me with mine.  Once he takes his after shots, I will share.  What he accomplished is very impressive!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Geeking Out

I am sorry I haven't posted here lately.  The main topics of this blog are off on adventures with their Grandparents and Aunties and Uncle.

My life has slowed down these past two weeks.  Sitting around, catching up on reading and movies and TV do not make interesting blog posts.  OK, I will tell you that if you haven't seen Inception, do.  It is incredible.  It will leave you thinking for days afterward.

Cooking grown up food is fun, and maybe I will write about  that on my food blog.  Do want to know what I cook when I don't have to take into consideration the likes and dislikes of three little critics?

I am making over Matthew's room into a Big Boy room.  When the transformation is complete, I will share the story with you.

So, where does Geeking Out come into play?  Yesterday Richard and I packed our overnight bags and headed into the Big City for a concert.

Who did we see?

Why Weird Al, of course!!!!

I knew this wouldn't be your typical concert from the moment I spotted the people waiting in line for t-shirts.  This could have easily been a gaming convention.  Nerds to the left of me, Dorks to the right, a Geek wearing a t-shirt showing a dejected Pluto in the solar system that rejected it next to me.(oh wait, he came with me, and I bought that t-shirt)  We were among our People.

 There were many moments of happy geekiness throughout the show.  The crowd went crazy when he played Canadian Idiot (he politely asked if we knew the definition of irony before starting the song).  Everyone sang along to the encore of The Saga Begins and Yoda.  (yes, we all knew all the words to those songs...are you going to beat us up and steal our lunch money now??)

Oh, and one of the great benefits of going to a Geeky concert is that no one really gets drunk and disorderly. (Unlike the Elton John show where Richard was repeatedly elbowed by a very drunk woman sitting next to him) and after the show we were able to have drinks in a largely empty bar at the venue since so many people had children with them!  

It was such a great evening for us.  So far, vacation time is treating us very well!