Monday, July 6, 2015

Right Now

Right now, I'm loving a three-day weekend that saw...

....a Friday full of yard work, a quick trip to the vet for a puppy's weird itchy skin infection, and a late night aiding in cake decorating. early Saturday morning, finishing touches for a special guy turning two, and a sweet little train-themed birthday party.
...late naps, the smell of brisket filling and lingering in the house, a packed car, and a caravan out to park and wait for fireworks.
...a really late night, crazy-fast baths for sweaty babies, and a crash into bed- for everyone- after midnight!
...eggs from my still-free-ranging hens for Sunday breakfast, lunch with good friends, and the discovery that Sister's room has a mold problem thanks to a still-ambiguous water leak (weather related) somewhere close to her window.
...lots of scrubbing, lots of baking soda, lots of laundry, and the exile of her book shelves just before bath time, library books before bed, and a hard crash for everyone to end the weekend!

Right now- for my 1,000th blog post- I thought it most appropriate to forego the urge to do something spectacular, grand, or elaborately retrospective and just keep with the good old everyday. After all, that's what makes my world go 'round! That's why I'm here in this space: to mark the days that are truly ordinary, yet all add up to something special for us... and in that ritual this blog adds up to something special for us in it's own right.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, July 5, 2015


"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, 
but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." 
~Nelson Mandela 

Friday, July 3, 2015

A Quick Little Baby Blanket

I got to make a baby blanket recently, y'all, for some close friends who just had their very first Little- a sweet baby girl! Though I can't call her THAT little... she was over nine pounds! Seriously!

I had so much fun putting it together. I chose a quirky mix of vintage cotton baby sheets, retro fabric scraps, and soft flannel. I really love how it turned out. I made it with only a couple layers of cotton sheet as "batting" so it wouldn't be overly warm for a baby who will spend most of her infancy in summer heat. Then I finished it with cream satin blanket binding and ta-da! A little quilt for a girl who can have little tea parties on it or just roll around and spit up on it.

It came together so quickly and easily it made me start eyeing my fabric stash again... maybe Audrey needs something new for her summertime picnics, too?

Maybe, indeed.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The (New) Big Boy Bed

Remember in April when I noticed Henry pretty much outgrew his toddler bed, like, over night? Well, it took us long enough, but we finally got him a big boy bed, with a real twin-size mattress and new sheets and everything. Getting a twin-size bed into his room required a little rearranging, purging, and organizing, but he's pretty happy with it all...

We got his new duvet and pillow case from Ikea, as well as the bed itself. It was plain, raw pine and required a little sanding and painting to get it juuuuust right.

It'll be a while before his toes reach the bottom of this mattress! And it may also be a while before the new wears off, which is fine by me... one thing is for sure, though: he sure has been happy to go to bed! 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

DIY Upcycle Jersy-Knit Girls' Skirt

I have been craft-obsessed with making these jersey skirts for my girl this summer. A friend of mine kinda walked me through the basic concept, and with a few hand-me-down t-shirts and "nap" time quiet I have taken her idea and run with it.

Did I mention that this is a no-sew project with only five basic steps? And that it takes about 15 minutes per skirt?

I'm telling ya. You're going to see how easy this is and make a thousand of them. Seriously.

What you'll need:

Supplies: a pair of sharp scissors, a flat work space, and a cotton jersey-knit t-shirt
(size of shirt depends on how big/long/full you want your finished skirt to be)
Step One:

Cut bottom of shirt off just below the armpits- for a longer skirt go all the way to the sleeve seams, for a shorter
skirt cut further down... adjust according to what you want.
Step Two:

Take bottom half of shirt and fold in half to make sure you cut straight (clearly I did not- trim as needed).
Step Three:

With the tip of your sharp scissors, make two tiny vertical slits within the bottom hem
of the t-shirt (take care to only nip one layer, don't cut all the way through!).

Step Four:

Cut a long, narrow strip of jersey from what remains with the sleeve half (make sure it's not
wider than the hem of the bottom half) and stretch it as far as you can get it to stretch.
(above: stretched on the left, un-stretched on the right)
Step Five:

Put a safety pin in each end of the stretched-out jersey strip. Pin one end near one of the
small slits you cut, and use the second safety pin to thread the strip through the second slit
all the way around. When you make it all the way around, pull enough slack so both sides have
about the same length, take the pins out, and tie a knot in each end (or add a bead).
That's it. See? Five steps, no sewing (thank you jersey knit fabric!), and instant gratification. The perfect project for a hot, humid day when no one wants to be outdoors and everyone has a little creative energy to burn. Recycling (or upcycling) at it's finest!

And what to do with the top half of the cut-up shirt? Quarter it and add it to the dust rag bag! No one can resist helping on cleaning day when you can dust with fuchsia rags. Everybody wins!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Letting Them Out

For a while now I've had a gut feeling- every time I read about free-range chickens, every time I saw photos of fluffy butts in fields and lawns, every time I looked into their barren run or their longing eyes from the confines of their tractor- my chickies need to roam.

Then I read that the problems a few of them are having with thin egg shells could be solved by letting them forage for what they need on their own.

Today I finally committed and let them out.

For our first day we only did about four hours of free-ranging. They stayed pretty close to their coop, venturing to the edge of the woods behind the garden and over to Leeloo's pool for drinks and that was about it. They really took a shining to good ol' Leeloo, and flocked around her every time she was sitting still. She didn't seem to mind as long as they weren't trying to peck at her flopping pink tongue!

When evening arrived and it was time for them to go back into their coop, all I had to do was call them with a tin of bird seed and they all went back home happily- all of them! So that's settled now. They'll roam to their hearts' content (or until they start doing some damage to landscaping, etc.), and the tractor will be reserved for when their energies need to be focused somewhere, and maybe for bad weather days.

It's kinda starting to look like a farm around here... ha!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Right Now

Right now, I'm...

...finding myself back out in my garden pre-dawn with watering hose in hand more regularly now. It was an enjoyable, peaceful part of my routine last summer, but with all the recent rain I'm only now getting back into that rhythm.
...toying with the idea of getting a few new feather babies, and loaning out Chicken Joe in exchange to a family that needs a little fresh blood in their poultry gene pool!
...regretfully realizing more than one of my front rose bushes has rose rosette and will have to be pulled and burned... soon.
...beginning my annual holiday gifts-to-make list, and eyeing some crazy-soft yarn waiting patiently to become gnome hats for my Littles. I'm thinking that project may get to be the first one I tackle.
...wanting one of these.
...cranking out new skirts for my girly girl! I was inspired by a friend to make some crazy-easy t-shirt knit skirts, and I may have to do a tutorial soon to prove how easy they are. Like, I made three in about two hours. Maybe even less than two hours. Yeah.
...enjoying the excitement that something new in an old space can bring: Henry got his Big Boy Bed! I'll put up some show-and-tell soon, promise.
...planning some fun daytime destinations for my kiddos in the next few weeks, some crafty projects, and some time to finish reading aloud 'Farmer Boy,' which I'm pleased to say both Littles love.

Right now we have a little bit of a lot of things going on, as usual, and the plan is to keep on with the same ol' every day that adds up to the life that we love! In short, a typical Monday. Have a good one!