Thursday, August 31, 2006

lovely lesley...

am i the luckiest girl in the world, or what? my friend and knitting buddy, lesley, gave me this sweet, sweet, handkerchief featuring four different images of kids trudging to school in the snow.

i mean look at this!

and this...

thank you, lesley! you made my night and WEEK!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

fairy lights...

i am a firm believer that there is not a setting in the world that cannot be made more magical with the addition of twinkle lights. above photo from the dance on saturday night. the room is really nothing more than a glorified garage, but it was transformed by those swags of tulle and white lights. charming, no?

in other news...i will soon be updating my sidebar with a few surprises. it's the fall and to me that means new, new, new...stay tuned.

Monday, August 28, 2006

get ready...

before the dance.

what a beautiful night and what perfect company.


and katherine.


obligatory first day of school picture. he's a kind soul to indulge his mother so.

Friday, August 25, 2006

dork out...

i can't get past the end of the month of august without wanting to buy new outfits and a ream of college-ruled paper. i want to shop at indiana's now defunct version of target, ayr-way, and fill my shopping cart full of corduroys, poorboy turtlenecks, stripey knee high socks and one sensible down filled vest. then i'd cruise the office supply aisle and fill the child seat of my cart with a rainbow of folders, a school box, a pink eraser, and a denimn covered three-ring binder. while standing at the check out i'd pull a "16" magazine off the rack and drop it on top of my other guilty reading pleasure, "seventeen."

once home, i'd throw everything onto a dogpile on my bed and daydream about parker stevenson (who was WAY cuter than shaun cassidy...duh!) and try to figure out how to french braid my own hair (btw...never did figure that out).

now, with a sixteen year old boy in my home, school supply shopping lasts all of about 13 minutes...randomly pulling notebooks off the shelf, buying one mega-pack of pens and no less than seven, plain, white binders. what can i say? he has a unique organizational style. he's not into new clothes--he'd much rather thrift or buy vintage (i don't know WHERE he gets that from), so i'm denied the nostalgic trip to the dressing room, arms laden with all manner of skirt, blouse, sweater, pant combos.

does anyone have a teenage girl i can borrow for the weekend? i'm dying to go school shopping.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

it's all clear now...

i am addicted to project runway. "how?" you ask, "are you addicted to a cable show, queenie, if you don't have cable?" ahhh, dear reader. the answer is simple--blockbuster.

kelly and i have spent the last three evenings watching season two on dvd. it is amazing that heidi klum can say, "you are either in or you're out," so many times in a four hour period! granted, if i was watching this show weekly instead of rat-a-tat-tat in a row, those words wouldn't seem so tired each time they're uttered.

but that's neither here nor there...i'm here to talk about foundation.

yes, you read that right. the designers create fabulous outfits each week, but what i'm most in awe of is the airbrush foundation applicators used on the models. now i know why my foundation NEVER looks perfect--i do not own an airbrush make-up applicator.

isn't it convenient to blame my lack of expensive equipment as the reason i don't look like a model? oh, yeah, and the fact that the models are young enough to be my daughters has not a thing to do with their exquisite skintone and complexion.

Friday, August 18, 2006

once upon a...

on top of the refrigerator there were two tootsie roll banks. next to each of those was a plaster of paris bank in the shape of a clown. one clown was holding a bunch of balloons and at the feet of the other clown lay a brown and cream puppy. both banks were painted sloppily. green and yellow. blue and purple. red and orange--all the colors of the rainbow combined into a garish display of all that was wrong with america in 1974.

the clown banks had been presents to the daughters of the house. their grandparents had bought them on one of their many trips to fort lauderdale. the tootsie roll banks were remnants of stocking stuffers and had once held a cache of tootsie rolls. now the tootsie roll banks held "special" money--half dollars, silver dollars, feather pennies and buffalo nickels. in two years the banks would hold bicentennial coins sent to them from the same grandparents who had given them the clown banks. the clown banks held spending money--also sent from the giving grandparents. the card would read, "don't let this burn a hole in your pocket," and that meant a trip to the drugstore to buy charms pops, apple jolly ranchers and now or laters. sometimes the cards had five dollar bills taped into them with directions to, "save this for a rainy day." the younger girl thought she could only spend that money on a wet wednesday and was still waiting for that day to come. the older girl was saving her money for a 110 camera she had picked out of the jc penney catalog. she had saved almost half of the $14.95 plus shipping that it would cost.

the refrigerator in the kitchen was down the hall and around the corner from where the two girls now slept-- stacked on top of one another in their bunk beds, covered up in bright yellow coverlets emblazoned with gigantic black smiley faces. it was sunday morning and that meant everyone in the house was sleeping in. sunday school was not a religion the family believed in. the morning paper and football on t.v. held much more sway than church. so when the triangle of sunlight slid across the avocado shag carpet as the front door was slipped open, no one was awake to notice.

a teenaged couple entered the house and crossed the living room to the kitchen. the tootsie roll banks were popped open and emptied into the long-haired girl's purse. the clown banks were pulled off the top of the refrigerator too and the plug bottoms jimmied open with the boy's pocket knife. he shoved the crumpled bills into his jeans pockets. months later, the older girl would notice the nicks the knife had made in the plaster hole on the bottom of the cheap bank and she would be angry, but she didn't understand why--she didn't even like clowns; they scared her.

while the boy went about the kitchen silently pulling and pushing the cabinets and drawers open and closed, the long-haired girl crept down the hallway and into the girls' bedroom.

their mouths were slack and she could hear the coo of them sleeping. stuffed animals littered their beds. she stood at the end of the bed and whispered, "love ya...bye bye." the older girl woke up just in time to see her stepsister's honey colored waist-length hair flip through the doorway. she barely heard the front door click shut and the car sputter down the street.

there was a commercial on t.v. imploring runaways to call their parents to let them know they were okay. the older girl hadn't known what runaway meant, but in a few hours she'd understand. she wondered to herself why her stepsister didn't do what the commercial had made sound so easy--"just pick up the phone and call." for weeks, each time the phone rang, her mother jumped.

a few months later her stepsister would send her a spoon ring she'd made out of a sterling silver fork handle. the girl would immediately recognize it as a curled up twin to a flat one lying in the kitchen drawer. as she twirled the too big ring around her thumb, her mother cried and her father silently took a swig from his can of beer. the girl thought the ring an unfair trade for the endless stream of snapshots she had planned on putting in her scrapbook.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

the culprit...

dear stargazer lily...

you are so beautiful, nestled inside my anniversary bouquet. your dottie center offsets the pink lusciousness of your wide open petals magnificently.

but may i please ask you one, very personal, question?

why, oh why, do you smell like death and funeral parlors and old lady, and worse yet -- a house of ill repute? your overwhelming scent is about ready to send me into fits of coughing and my co-worker has shut her office door because she doesn't want a migraine induced by your showy fragrance.

in the future, please try to temper your application of perfume -- this is an office setting after all and no one should be olfactorily assaulted each time they enter my cubicle. for heaven's sake, girlfriend, try to show a bit of restraint and decorum next time.

your nauseous friend

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

fine, just fine...

the weather here in steamy st. louis has broken (for a bit, at least) and the high today is only going to be 86 degrees. how wonderfully cool that temp is! i woke up this morning and upon walking to my car actually thought that it was chilly. makes me look forward to autumn...and sweaters...and boots...and wool.

ahhhh, lovely, lanolin-y, wool. i have a deep and abiding love for the stuff. i adore it in all its forms...fabric, roving, yarn (oh, yarn especially); and just the heady smell of it sends me into a swoon.

my mate, however, is highly allergic. can't. stand. it. when he accompanies me on my MANY trips to the thrift store to procure more and more and more wool sweaters for felting, he can help me pick them out, but he cannot lift them onto the counter or remove them from the bag when we return home. and what's more, when i've finished felting them in the family washing machine, i had better run a load or two through of car washing towels. please don't ask me how i know that kelly is just as allergic to microscopic clean wool lint as he is to the full-sized pre-washed stuff. it's not a pretty story.

and it all makes me think of the million ways he and i are different...
*i love to drink coffee....mmmm, coffee; kelly can't stand the stuff;
*i wouldn't eat a ding dong if you paid me $25; kelly eats two every day with his lunch;
*same thing for bologna, hot dogs, cheeto's and kentucky fried chicken; of course, kelly couldn't keep down a spoonful of nonfat plain yogurt if his life depended upon it;
*i'm high fashion; kelly's khaki's and a button down shirt all weekdays-strictly jeans on the weekends;
* i don't really like tv; kelly sits down with the tv guide on sunday and plots out his plan for the upcoming 7 days;
*science fiction bores me; that's all that man reads.

but we're also alike in some ways...
*we both love italian food...pasta tuttomare is our favorite dish;
*we love to watch the wildlife in our backyard;
*we enjoy doing everyday, mundane tasks more than is normal (we love to stand shoulder to shoulder at the sink and wash and dry a bunch of dirty dishes);
*we love going to see live music (although i don't "get" jethro tull, i will go see ian anderson perform live);
*we like a long walk, bike ride or canoe trip;
*we LOVE to watch our son play sports (although we really aren't sports lovers);
*we are both movie fanatics. if you're around us for very long, you'll most likely be subjected to a dialogue in which one of us quotes a movie line that may or may not be in the context of the present conversation...i assure you we will both crack up and ask the other, "what movie is that from?"
*we adore one another to distraction.

it's the similarities that brought us together, but it's the differences that keep it interesting. that is why when we got home from our anniversary dinner last night and i came back into the living room (after slipping into something stretchy to accommodate all the chicken spedini i had consumed), it touched my heart so when i saw what kelly had turned onto the tv for our evening's entertainment...the. miss. teen. usa. pageant.

he really knows the way to my heart.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

nineteen years...

is a mighty long time, doncha think? well that is how long i've been married to that good man o' mine. he's a keeper.

here we were this past january at a shindig.

here's to many more good years with you, kelly!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

lookee, lookee...

from the swap-bot teacup swap...

so lovingly packed up from my new friend, sarah g.

and here is what was inside...

a box of aromatic tea, buttons from her stash, hot pink ribbon emblazoned with inspirational words, a colorful remnant of her kitchen curtain fabric and the cherry on top of the cake, this wonderfully "me" teacup and saucer...gray and pink with a slightly asian feel to it. it couldn't have been more perfect.

thank you, sarah! i'm so glad you got my name in the swap!

Friday, August 11, 2006

before & after...

(picture taken without flash...color is very true to natural)

i love before and after pictures. don't you?

here's a shot of my GIGANTIC bag before i felted it. it measured 25" wide and 23" tall. see that tiny little pile of strands of yarn to the right of the bag? that was all that was left after i finished. talk about cutting it close. i had to use the yarn harlot's instructions for casting off without using any yarn (a VERY useful skill to have in your toolkit!).

the bag took 5 skeins of cascade 220, doubled. the pattern is from my fave knitting book (the book is pictured above, open to the instruction page for this bag)...i mean, i guess it's my fave since i've knit about 4 things from it. i've got oodles of knitting books i drool over but haven't knit a blessed thing from. this book is at least the most useful.

now here's the after...

(picture taken with flash...a lot more orange than in real life)

it's about 15" wide (with the gussets tucked in) and 12" high. it shrunk more in depth than in width. i washed it two times in hot water using two tablespoons of dishwashing liquid on the smallest load setting (my favorite method for felting). the right side is the purl side and is as dense as anything else i've ever felted. it is still drying--24 hours after being pulled from the washer, rinsed, and blocked. with the humidity as high as it is right now in st. louis, it could take another 5 days before it's completely dry. i hope it doesn't get moldy (just kidding!)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

my honey pie's birthday...

happy birthday, sweetie!
i know it's not the double nickel birthday, but double quatro is still quite impressive.

my personal cabana boy, maui, march 2003

are you moody....

a wonderful reader, ruth moody, shared some fantastic pieces of handwoven fabric with me--just because she had read about my exploits with all things felted and thought i would be able to incorporate some of these fantastic remnants into my pieces. she is SO right! i've been trying for days to take a picture of the bag-ful of goodies ruth sent home with me after the tag book class on saturday, but the light has not been cooperating. i didn't want to be remiss in thanking ruth for her generosity, and for the life of me i cannot remember her e-mail address even though i know it is memorable. so ruth, if you're out there, please accept this offering of gratitude. you rock!

Monday, August 07, 2006

creativity boost...

i have so many items and techniques in my artsy toolbox that sometimes they overwhelm me. so i decided to take a little refresher course at red lead. the class focused on transfer techniques--packing tape, gel medium and a fantastic spray on transfer liquid that works on inkjet copies. it is fabulous-o. in the end, we left with oodles of paper, a 7 gypsies spiral bound tag book (i lerve these!) and lots of inspiration. i went home and finished the puppy up.

how much do i love all of the ribbons sticking out of the sides of this book?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


while nathaniel was at camp FOR THREE WEEKS(!) kelly and i redecorated our bedroom. (btw...the redo only took 6 days, not the entire 3 weeks). the project included extensive plaster repair, painting, furniture rearranging, and the placement of a cute, cute shelf to showcase my collection of vintage aprons--actually, the apron shelf was my entire motivation for redoing the bedroom.

oh, yeah, and the birdcages...

i love it!

the wall color is "river's edge" by behr. the curtains were made from a vintage cutwork tablecloth with a finished scalloped edge i picked up at a tag sale for $2. the birdcages (both cost under $5 each) were both from separate thrift store trips and are made by a japanese company called "hoie." inside the cages are fake birds from the craft store. the shelf was on sale for 1/2 price from the same craft store and painted with a bottle of glossy white acrylic paint i bought for 69 cents. the aprons each cost less than $2.

don't you love a bargain?