Thursday, October 25, 2012

List-It Tuesday: Overheard

Yes, it's Thursday. I've had a couple of Weeks Like That, okay, and only two days late is actually pretty impressive, considering. The topic this week is overheard, and it's just too juicy to let slip by.

My daughter takes a preschool gymnastics class. Last year, when both my older kids were in school, I spent the 45 minutes sitting and knitting. Most parents stand at the viewing window and chit-chat, but I was too tired and achy from Lyme Disease to stand for more than ten minutes at a time. (Sad but true.) This year I have my eight-year-old with me. He does his math chapter and then we play some Uno, or he might read while I knit, or, usually, some of all of that. Today, I eavesdropped a bit. Some of these were said by parents, and some were said by the group leader who runs the before-school care for kindergarteners. In case you can't read the scan (the scanner doesn't like the spiral binding) or my handwriting, here is what it says:

* You're not being a nice boy. You're staying right here. Who's going to win this battle? [This was said by a caregiver--not sure if she was a nanny or a grandmother--but it seemed pretty clear to me the kid was winning.]

* Every single one is like chipped but a handful. I don't know what I was thinking when I registered for these. [Sigh. A few of the moms have a "like" speech impediment, as you'll notice. It like drives me like crazy.]

* They're like up the walls.

*Then it all like slowly unravels.

*I was feeling in control of my life for like a little second.

* It's definitely like guilt.

*I'll be making like 15 things for the school bake sale.

* Please sit down on your bum and eat. Sit down and finish your lunch. I'm going to have to glue you to that seat.

* Do not put that over your face like that EVER! You can see through plastic. You can't breathe through it.

*If you did say it don't say it again because it's not appropriate.

It's worth it to go back to Aimee's post and check out all the links...some good overheard stuff this week!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sewn: Sparkly Princess Cape

I've had this cape in my head for a long time--since I made the skirt out of the same fabric, actually--so it's just as well my daughter decided she needed a sparkly cape for her Halloween princess outfit. She was more than happy for me to use the fabric we already have, too. I wish I had better photos; it's grey and dim today, and I had to use the flash indoors. But you get the idea, and I'll be sure to post photos of the entire princess outfit after Halloween, although they are forecasting rain for Halloween, how dare they?!

I used two layers of a basic cape shape. The underneath layer is the blue satiny stuff, and the top layer is the sheerer, sparkly stuff. I hemmed the sides and bottoms of each piece separately, then zigzagged them together at the raw neck edge before sewing on the narrow binding that extends into the ties, which you can see below.

That way, the layers flutter individually as she runs.

It turned out just as I pictured it, and I am beyond delighted with it. My daughter seems pretty happy, too. And as far as Halloween sewing goes, this was extremely low stress.

Are you doing any costume creating this year? How's it coming along?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Birthday Shirt

It's about that time of year again...

I realized when I made last year's shirt that I was going to have to make this a tradition. This year, though, it's not a surprise (although she won't see the finished shirt until her birthday). She just assumed it was coming because, after all, her number is changing, so she needs a new shirt. She had advance say on colors and design. In the end, she chose what I wanted to do anyway--a four with a crown--although for a while there we were awash in her initial in a circle with a crown and the four. I'm happy simplicity won out.

Goodness. I love that design, I really do!

I also really enjoyed sharing photos of where I live in the last post. Here's one more, a different pond that I drove by four times today (on the way to and from preschool gymnastics, and on the way to and from karate).

I didn't have my camera earlier in the day, so this was taken about 5 pm and it's not as vibrant, but still. Autumn is pretty here this year. Last year we sort of missed the colorful part entirely thanks to Hurricane Irene. The leaves that weren't stripped were salted, or something like that. There are a couple of trees on the way into town that are, as my son put it, so bright that it hurt his eyes to look at them. Next time I go in that direction I'm going to have to make time to stop, find a safe place to pull over, and take some photos.

Finally, I signed up for the Art Every Day Challenge. It takes place in November. I don't think I'll be posting every day, but I hope to have something to show for every day, when I do post. By the end, I'd like 30 postcard-sized pieces of artwork. I'm thinking of a variation on a theme--an animal per day, or 30 trees...something like that. Usually, if I make time to draw, it's a better day.

Before that, though, I need to sew up a sparkly cape. I didn't think I was sewing anything for Halloween this year, but the almost-four-year-old has other plans, and who can argue with the Birthday Girl?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

List It Tuesday: I Love Where I Live

This week's theme is "What I love about where I live," and I felt it needed to be a photographic list as much as possible. So here goes.

I love my yard, especially the view off the deck.

I also love the animals that visit our yard or make it their home. The bird feeder is hanging from the tree directly behind the corner of the deck (you can't see it in this photo). A bunny has been lurking around underneath that white pine. We occasionally see deer, although I know they visit overnight when we don't see them, too, and I love when the wild turkeys march through. And I adore the reptiles and amphibians, like this common snake

and, of course, the red-backed salamanders.

I love that we live so close to the ocean. In less than fifteen minutes, I'm at the beach. Just knowing it's so close calms me; if I need to get there, I can (and sometimes I just do).

My kids are growing up with an intimate knowledge of the ocean; I love that. One of our favorite beaches is a barrier beach, with this salt pond behind.

We love it here. It's calm and shallow and we swim next to little fish and sometimes come across crabs and even horseshoe crabs, and I love that my kids (and myself!) have the chance to "know" these creatures in their own habitat, not just behind glass at an aquarium.

It's a slightly farther drive, but we can also easily get to some great tide pools.

There, we can find hermit crabs and snails and sea stars (although not this year), again, in their own habitat, where we are careful and grateful visitors.

I also love that in almost any direction we drive from home, we pass horses or cows.

And every time I go into town, I drive by a pond that is gorgeous in all weather. This photograph was taken on a very grey day last fall.

We are surrounded by all of this, yet we're only about 40 minutes from Mystic, CT, 45 minutes from Providence, RI, and 90 minutes from Boston.

I realized when I was thinking about this list that it doesn't include any particular stores or communities of people. Back before I had to cut out gluten, I'd have told you I loved a certain coffee shop, and the pizza place in town, and how we used to pick up our CSA share at the co-op, order a pizza for dinner, and then browse in the used book store. But the used book store closed, the CSA stopped letting kids on the farm so I couldn't work off half our share anymore, and most of us can't eat regular pizza. My love of this place is very much centered on the landscape. Whenever we idly talk of moving I always say I don't want to be any farther from the coast than I am now, and since it's about four miles "as the crow flies," that limits our options a bit!

What do you love about where you live? Is it the landscape, the community, or both?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

List-It Tuesday: I Am A Sucker For...

When I saw the topic for this week's list, I knew I needed to put it on a lollipop background. I played around with some new watercolor pencils to make this (#2!!). Here's a bit more about the items on my list:

1. It doesn't matter what I'm doing, if one of my kids comes to me to offer a hug, or because they need a hug, well. That becomes my automatic priority, right? I'm still waking my youngest up for a bathroom trip before I go to bed, and those sleepy hugs and kisses she bestows as I carry her to and from goodness. Sometimes it's the highlight of my day, hands down.

2. Art supplies are like a Happy Drug. And books! Full of ideas! Techniques! Pretty pictures! I'm such a sucker.

3. Many a night I've agreed to this request against my better judgment, knowing that 6:45 is a better bedtime than 7, that everything will go just that much more smoothly if I don't read that one more story. And our marathon read-aloud sessions once the school bus is gone and my coffee is more story, Mama? Of course.

4. Bird seed costs a lot! But I love seeing the birds visiting the feeder. I will stop what I'm doing for a bird almost every time. Not too long ago the two youngest kids and I saw three--three!!--flickers grazing for insects on the grass. Joy! Over the weekend I spotted a juvenile sharp-shinned hawk in a beach parking lot in the pouring rain. Of course I stopped the car to watch and try and get a decent photo through my windshield. Whenever we run low on birdseed I go to the store and put another ginormous bag of it on the credit card because apparently, bird seed has become a line item here. I signed up for Cornell's Project FeederWatch this year. I can't wait to get my packet of information.

5. We get lots of requests for donations in the mail (because we donate). And when we are on a tighter budget, I can recycle most of them, but I can't pass by the appeals from the Food Bank. One day a couple years ago I received their report on the state of hunger in Rhode Island. I was so appalled (I read the whole thing) that I signed us up for a monthly automatic donation. There was no appeal envelope or request in with the report, just the cold, hard facts, but it was the biggest incentive for donating more that I'd ever read. I've recycled a lot of donation requests recently, but the Food Bank is also a line item.

Next week's topic is "what I love about where I live." I can't wait. Those of you who know me well know I love to list what I love about living here. I think next week's list might have to be a photographic one, hmm... maybe you'll play along too? 

Linking up with Aimee at Artsyville!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Finished Knit: Sparkly Pink Sweater

You can't really see the sparkles, but they're there. The yarn is Dream in Color Starry; the pattern is Daisy Cardigan; the full notes are here on Ravelry. I began on US 5s, took it out and started over on US 6s. Much better. I'd forgotten how much this picot bindoff curls up, especially with wool, but when I asked the girl if I should try to block it out a bit more, she said, "No! I like the curl!" She wore it for a bit, but it's not quite sweater weather, not yet. Not for her, anyway. She's still wearing shorts and sandals half the time. Who am I to argue? She lets me know if she's cold.

Anyway, the pink sparkly thing? Kinda freaking adorable. The other day she was rummaging through our dress-up basket and informed me, "This house needs more sparkles." She wants to have jewels for Halloween. She suggested gluing them to herself. I suggested we go shopping for some costume jewelry, but in the face of her idea, I felt boring and a bit, well, lacking in a certain sparkle, no? Her sneakers are silver and sequin-y. She definitely brings sparkle to my days.

I'd have been done with her sweater slightly sooner, but partway through I took a short break to knit some baby things.

The yarn isn't quite this dullish; it was a dull grey day. It's quite pretty, actually, with some violet in there, so I when I went stash rummaging I thought this would work okay for a baby girl, the granddaughter of someone I know. The yarn was, I'm quite sure, a gift from someone, and I'm not sure where the label has gotten to, but I'm pretty sure the colorway was Passionfruit and I know it's merino with some nylon in there. Never mind all that; who can resist wee bitty baby socks?

I have So Many Big Things I want/need to knit, so instead of starting any of them when I finished the pink sparkly sweater, I cast on for a pair of socks. Knitterly avoidance, I guess. I'm not wrapping my head around some of the Big Things just yet.

I'm still grumpy about it being autumn, but knitting while watching football and drinking hot coffee isn't terrible, so there's that.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

List-It Tuesday: 15-Minute Creativity

The topic this week is "creative things I could do in 15 minutes or less." This was a fun list to make, using a combination of watercolors and Pitt artist pens.

How about you? What can you do in 15 minutes or less? Go!

Linking up with Aimee for List-It Tuesday.