Wednesday, June 30, 2010

His Own Best Customer

My parents came to visit today, and while they were getting some baby snuggles, I had a little time to spend with my big boy. We picked these darling wee carrots from his carrot patch, his one major request back when we were Spring planting. Aren't they awesome? I mean, they're stright out of a Beatrix Potter illustration or something equally whimsical.
Whimsy notwithstanding, they were delicious, not that I had more than the skimpiest of tastes. B wasn't much for sharing. He ate every last one and even unhappily sampled the greens. Only once.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Calder Grey

He's here! Our Calder is here, though his big brother still calls him Hoikenner, and his parents mostly call him Jonesie. He was born at 1:13 a.m. on June 25th. 7lbs 9oz, 20 1/2 " long. He looks so much like his brother, but with my thin lips. Our little Summer Brew is much rosier than our Winter Beckett was too, but they certainly look like brothers!

We brought him home yesterday afternoon and are enjoying our first quiet Sunday morning just the 4 of us. Let me say that again - 4 of us!!! I'll post newer pictures soon, he's only a few hours old in the one above, but with my 2 wonderful boys and my amazing husband around, the camera is the last thing I want to be holding.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Riddle Me This

How is it that at my age and particular situation, watching The Breakfast Club can still make me wish I could spend this Saturday in high school detention? Beckett is off with his grandparents today, so I happily devoured a little John Hughes with my Special K this morning.

I also went a little nuts in my garden, making me wonder if "nesting" is necessarily an indoor phenomenon. In record time I scanned my roof with a hypercritical eye, then ruthlessly pulled everything that didn't tickle my fancy. After the months of admiration and affection I've given these plants, I felt a little like Henry the Eighth - beheading my beloveds. I also discovered a few insurgent aphids, so now I'm off to the nursery for ladybugs. And maybe a few little somethings to fill in all the holes I just created. My containers look a like gaping snaggle-tooth demon mouths right now.

I came across this awesome blog post yesterday, it had both Zion and I giggling last night, so I thought I'd share.

I promise my next post will have pictures, or a project or something. But these little writing spurts really are all kinds of fun. I'm beginning to see the benefit of tweeting. I'm way too verbose, though, so I'll stick to blogging.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Forgive my slowness. I keep coming across the term "sewist" in the sewing blog community and it makes me cringe a little each time. It just seems wrong and silly.

While I fully understand the need for a term other than "seamstress" I couldn't see why "sewist" would be the preferred choice.

Until today, that is, when I happened across a typical manhole cover and immediately, if belatedly, understood why "sewer" just wouldn't make the cut - even if most of my attempts belong not in any closet, but beneath said manhole.

Friday, June 18, 2010

For the Baby

So here's how my sketch translated into a stenciled baby garment. The dandelion seed is in embroidery thread, and I kind of hate it, but I'm leaving it for now. I can't decide if it needs more embroidery to make it cohesive, or if I just need to pull it out and make the whole thing more graphic. Unfortunately, this was the only blank baby thing I had on hand, so I couldn't experiment too much.
This was done with a freezer paper stencil, one of my favorite techniques. There are a few good tutorials for this kind of stencil on the interwebs, and if Shirley isn't teasing us too much, perhaps there's about to be a new great one. Anyway, I'm almost happy with it, and am certainly thrilled to say that I've finally made something especially for my little one. Hear that, little one? Handmade goods await you!

I'm going to play some more tonight, after my bigger little one is asleep, and see if my stencil cutting skills are up to the challenge of that dandelion seed. Wish me luck.

A Little Wit's End Madness

I'm in a funny mood. I've spent the last week with a stopwatch in hand, waiting for these damn contractions to either get down to business or JUST STOP, for crying out loud. A whole week of this nonsense! I haven't slept, am currently missing my childhood best friend's wedding (doctor's very stern orders,) and am feeling like the entirety of my brain's usable RAM is overloaded with baby-ness. As a result (perhaps a knee-jerk result) I've had no interest in baby projects, in cuteness and littleness and the like.

But at this point, driven beyond rationality, a superstitious notion has taken root - maybe the big hold up with my little Jones is that I haven't made him anything. Maybe he's holding out. So last night I did some sketching. I started with some bears and birds and ended up, predictably, with a fox.Actually this is an old idea that's spent the last year-ish in one of the many unconsecrated mass graves I call my sketchbooks. Apparently its ghost had unfinished business with me, though and it materialized last night (largely inspired by this darling hat Shirley posted.) So now I have this drawing, which I love and which doesn't overwhelm me with saccharine cuteness, but I don't know what to do with it. Stencil a onesie? embroider a bib? framed cut paper? watercolor?

Well, whatever it becomes, I'll be tinkering with it today as much as I can, so check back to see what happens.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Our Room

Hey there folks. Sorry for the hiatus. No baby yet, but it's been a pretty dismal 5 days or so. That being the case, I haven't given much time or thought toward any creative pursuits, but I have been happily appreciating my previous efforts at designing and decorating our living space.
Above all is the bedroom, or least our half of our shared bedroom. I say above all because this is the one room least likely to be struck by that rare meteorological oddity, the Hot Wheels Tornado. Therefore it's the most likely to look like a place for adults - messy, laundry piling adults though they may be.I still have plans to put foxes on our solid white bedding, and I'd love to play around with drawing/ painting/ screenprinting on some of these old windows that I so adore. But certainly not today, and probably not anytime super soon. So I'll just keep enjoying this room for just what it is.I just looked over this post again and yikes. Would it have killed me to straighten the frames on the wall before I took these photos? Let all pretend it's intentional, deal?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Chalk Art

Check out this chalk art B made today. The chalk was wet from all of the soggy weather we've had, so it went on the blacktop like butter. Really more like paint, but you get the point. He even smeared it around with his fingers and played with layering the colors. I think perhaps that wet chalk may be this Summer's playtime innovation. Thanks, sloppy June, without your downpours we'd have never discovered this.He was so proud that he wanted me to take these pictures for all posterity. Apparently he's not into the inherent transience of true chalk art.

On a completely unrelated note, I've been laughing myself to tears over this tonight. Giggling at the pretentious is really just good fun.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Way back when, long before I ever thought the term bed rest would ever apply to me, I sprinkled native wildflower seed mixtures into some of my roof containers. I had assumed that stooping and troweling my late pregnancy days away would be hugely uncomfortable. I was wrong, of course. There's nothing I would have loved more, but as it is, or as it has been, I'm still reaping the benefits of my low maintenance planting schedule.

All of these lovely strangers are popping up in perfect chaos. I can't identify them, nor do I have any idea what to expect through the Summer. Frankly I've spent the bulk of Spring warily eyeing their greens as potential weeds. But they're blooming now, and I love them, and I can't wait to get my hands dirty tending to it all.

Unfortunately, aside from my garden, I can't muster the kind of chomping at the bit thrill I had expected to feel tonight, on the eve of being turned loose. Like the end of this drawn out period of bed rest marks the beginning of an entirely different phase - the waiting phase. Or, more appropriately if you've spent the last 6 weeks paranoid about every minor sensation, the absolutely-sure-you'll-go-into-labor-in-the-next-5-minutes phase. It's super weird, and it leaves me all kinds of distracted. So, despite the long list of would-be adventures that I've been preparing for a month and a half, I find I can't even fathom the great feat of organization and discipline that leaving the house would entail. How lame is that?

I'll do it for B, of course, to reward his saintly patience and to get as much just us time in before the little one arrives. But my notebooks filled with project ideas and lovely sketches may be just dust collectors for the next little while. Or not, who knows. As of tonight even cutting into fabric seems a mountainous task. But I have my garden, and now, after all these weeks, it has me too. That's certainly worth celebrating.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Who You Gonna Call?

Check out what the boys brought home from the grocery store tonight. You can guess what we've all been singing ever since.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A Lazy Weekend, and an Old Goodwill Refashion

My parents took Beckett for the weekend which gave Zion and I this rare moment of calm and quiet. I had big plans to tackle some projects, do some drawing, try to satisfy that craving for art that I previously wrote about. Instead we loaded up on jalapeno potato chips, sour patch watermelons, and really bad movies. It was, in a word, glorious.

Unfortunately, it didn't leave me with much to show, let alone write about. But when I got dressed this morning, I realized that I had never posted this little sweater project, and hey, there's no time like the present.This started off as a very simple, short sleeved cable knit sweater from Goodwill. It was the epitome of mass produced, with cheap boring navy buttons and all. But one spool of ribbon, a 3/4" covered button kit, some favorite fabric from here, and reassurances from my husband that I wasn't making a clown's sweater, and it became this. I love it, and I love that we're finally getting the kind of weather in which I can wear it.

Thinking about this again, about how simple and quick it was to change something so drastically, is making me think about a Goodwill trip in my near future. Thursday is coming up very soon! Freedom!

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Artist Formerly Known as Claire Anderson

Being home has afforded me a little more solitude than I've had these past few weeks and that has led to some unexpected introspection. I wouldn't call myself an artist these days and it's been about 4 years since I last would have. I was more than happy to put that title on the shelf to play house with my new family, but now, on the eve of the birth of my 2nd son, I'm a little haunted by my past.
This piece is something I did in art school, a lifetime ago, and it's hung on our wall ever since without much, if any, fanfare. Since I've been spending so much time staring at said walls, and feeling a bit like a caged bird to boot, I've been giving it more consideration than usual. It started as a white cotton thrift store sheet which then underwent various layers of dyes, resists, stencils and screen printing.It just reminds me of a time when my need to create bordered on violence, when I wanted to tear and destroy and rebuild from the wreckage, when I wanted to play with the kind of beauty that was sometimes hard to look at. It's still there, that side of me. I'm just so much more centered now. And happier. And fulfilled. So, while I don't mourn the wild thing with the happy domestic tranq dart in her ass, I do worry that I've gone a little dull without her.

Of course all of this comes when I'm set to slide into sloppy newborn motherhood at any minute. At which point all of my recent sewing projects will seem like great feats of artistry. But someday, hopefully soon-ish, I'd like to put 'craft' on the shelf for a day or two and see what shakes loose.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Home Sweet Home

It feels like it's been years since I last slept in my own bed. It's so good to be home! Thanks to my husband's vigilance and an unseasonably wet May, my garden doesn't seem to have missed me one bit. But I missed it, and am so happy to have spent a few minutes on the roof this afternoon. Did I mention it's good to be home?

Saw my doctor this morning. He says bedrest till next Thursday - June 10. Let the countdown begin!!!