Hippy Granola Bar Haiku


They will make them
but they will not eat them
we keep trying


Me Again

Hey! Look at me! I’m a very small quilt swap participant! I’ve never done this before [ahem] but am so excited to swap stuffs with someone out there in the world that I’ve never met but who likes to quilt and I like to quilt so hey, why don’t we swap? Can you think of a greater use of the internet (well, aside from Cute Overload)?

If you're interested, there are still some open spots. It's open to international folks, too (hint hint)! Whaddayousay??!!

Earth Hour

Brian and I spent an hour in the dark last night in honor of Earth Hour via a tip-off from sew green. Truth be know, we didn’t quite make the 8pm start time, but our “hour” went all the way into this morning so we kinda made up for our tardiness. I don’t think the Earth minded. I mean, if you’re as old as the Earth, a scant fifteen minutes is no big deal, right? We were a little spastic in the beginning, tripping through the toy obstacle course that is our living room and asking eco-novice questions…do night lights count? Can we use the gas fireplace? Do we turn our cell phones off? In the end, we eventually settled into a nice, fire-side evening…and fell asleep. And those few hours free of all the energy sucking activities that we normally engage in were well spent. We decided that we will fit in a few evenings every month in honor of our big blue home…just need to add a reminder into our Outlook calendars!


Kitty's Revenge

Hi friends, I lied. I know, it’s so unbecoming. But I hand-sewed one piece, not even a block mind you – a piece of a block of a quilt, and gave up. I already had immense admiration for hand quilters but now my admiration is so much more immenser!!

And speaking of hand-sewing feats, we stopped by to see our friend Jeanene in The Dalles on our way home and my crafty instincts perked up as soon as we walked in her door. I smelled quilt. Big, beautiful, handsewn quilt. She’s been working on it for thirteen years, says she so modestly. Yes, I get it. Not the kind of thing you do on a 3-hour drive home with 2-year and 4-year old people needing entertaining in the backseat. Nope. I will revisit the hand-sewn quilt ambition as soon as said small people grow up and drive off in their VW vans to college. Until then, I will kiss my little sewing machine work horse on the head and thank her every chance I get. Hand-sewn quilt is still on my to-do list, but just got promoted to the bigger list. Like one of those things I’d like to do before I die, NOT before summer. Make goals, not deadlines…got it!!

So we’re back home to the non-deserty part of Oregon. Hum drum, greater than 20 degree, deer-poop-less city life is more our style, but we do miss the g-parents. Both of my kids asked to go to bed tonight, so that tells you what a whirlwind of a vacation it was! We arrived home to 2 small piles of kitty surprise in a 52 degree house. The battery in our thermostat died so the house was coooooold. We made it up to kitty by engaging in a half hour of the meow-and-sit-at-door-while-they-beg-me-to-go-out/come-in dance. Her favorite spectator sport.

car project

Here’s my alternative-to-hand-sewn-quilt-in-3-hour-car-ride project. I will name it the "trying not to be nervous passenger seat driver but that looks like packed ice and you're going over 25 mph" embroidery. That swirly part happened during a particularly stressful portion of the trip and is sensing seam ripper in its near future.

Now off to reunite with my loyal little sewing machine!


More Scores

We received more gifts from the desert today of the non-poop variety (and yes mom, esme underwent the most thorough cleansing of her life after yesterday's episode): some pre-cut vintage fabric squares found at the local thrift store, perfect ingredients for a doll quilt recipe I've had stewing in my head. I'm itching to do some more hand-binding, too so might make a go of hand-sewing this puppy. That's a very big might.

My husband described this picture as "quilt throw-up"
Quilt Squares

And if that wasn't enough, we awoke to yet ANOTHER desert gift: snow in late March for peep's sake! Will this spoiling ever end?

Desert Snow


Gifts of the Desert

Deer In Backyard

Esme found some fun, small, perfectly circular-shaped pebbles to play with in Koka & Tutu's backyard today. As she played contently, happily passing them back and forth between her easter eggs, I wondered what our life would be like living in central Oregon where the locals all seem to share a quiet respect for nature and natural processes. As I pictured an idyllic setting with the kids playing alongside the sagebrush and little families of quailie birds running by, my intuitions suddenly perked back into reality...

Yes, you guessed it. Those pebbles turned out to be deer poop.

And so ended my brief romance with the idea of desert living. You can take the kids out of the city, but um...you really can't teach them the difference between rocks and deer poop.

A Cable Appeareth

My nice hubby flanaggled a computer cable, so download pics I did. Easter pics up first for grandma's grandbaby fix...
Easter Smiles

Isn't it nice when craft projects work out according to plan and your kids actually play with them as intended (or play with them at all)? They happily tossed the fabric eggs into their baskets for all of um, 4 minutes, which I guess is a play eternity to a 2-year-old. But I'll take what I can get and what a fun 4 minutes they were. Of course it ended when they started egging the cat.
Egg Launch

And here's some of that vintage fabric I mentioned. Sweet Grandma B could not understand why in the world I'd want to take pictures of her era-spanning fabric stash. So much amazing stuff!
Vintage Fabric

More Vintage Fabric

yet more

I finally decided on these pretty flowers with the softest, yummiest terry velour for a portable changing pad. I've been making these as baby shower gifts for awhile (and of course have a few of my own) and plan on selling them on etsy in gift sets with other baby-related paraphernalia once I get the time to set up a shop. But for now, this one went to baby #5 that just joined the family of some sweet friends of ours.
Changing Pad

Changing Pad

And I'm right on schedule as this project fulfills my weekly project quota. Woo!


Over the hills and through the high desert....

I've managed to sneak in some crafting time here in Redmond, OR to make a little something for a tiny, sweet-smelling, chubby-toed little one-month-old today. Grandma B was generous enough to let me raid her amazing vintage fabric stash and Tutu kindly lent me her trusty kenmore sewing machine. I learned to sew on a kenmore that's older than I am so know they can be a little persnickety. When I first sat down there was quite a bit of tension between us, but we managed to iron out our differences (sorry - couldn't help the puns. I blame my father-in-law's influence rubbing off on me).

Anyway, I will post pics once we're back home and reunited with our camera-to-computer-cable-thingy which we forgot to bring (along with about 27 other semi-necessary but forgotten things). And since this post is without pics, I'll leave you with the image of my sweet children frolicking in the clean, crisp air aside their little farm buddies...and wait...what's that?...4-year-old Max and Holden urinating side by side in the flowerbeds. Gotta love the farm!


Recipe for a Good Day

Start with a tree-lined drive to an egg-hunt on the farm


Take walks in the sun with good friends


And make new friends along the way


Then find your way back home to create


When you run out of eggs, look to nature for inspiration


become one with your work


And remember to give thanks for all the gifts of the day



Scrap Eggs

Hey thanks for the comment love on the quilt! How nice of you to read my posts. I never thought anyone besides my mom would read this blog, so I’m thrilled to make some connections out there in the innernets!


So after an uneventful library storytime experience this morning (whew), Esme and I (Holden’s in preschool on Tuesdays and Fridays) decided to combine these two
wonderful ideas into one. I used the scraps from the quilt that I just made for Holden’s eggs and scraps from Esme’s quilt for hers. Aside from being super simple to make, they also reduce my ecoguilt (no more plastic eggs) and gave Esme a fun project this morning.

She was Lead Engineer at the Pellet Stuffing Station and was responsible for overseeing all activities involving pellet manipulation which included, but was not limited to, funneling, scooping, pouring, swirling, cupcake pan handling, dipping, digging, shoveling, and throwing (her position was terminated shortly after the throwing part).

AND we discovered a new word today:
Hatcorn (hatkorn) n. the uppermost hat-like cupule which sits atop the nut-part of an acorn (self defined).

Happy weekend everyone!


Lessons Learned


1. Make Goals, Not Deadlines
2. I’m a Patternaholic
3. Embrace Imperfection
4. Hand Binding is F-U-N!
5. Beeswax Rules (thank you Grandma B for the lifetime supply!)


Inspired by
this, and my quilt wants to be this amazing quilt when it grows up. There’s some chocolate lollipop, a few michael millers, some fresh cuts and one yummy print called ginger blossom that I love. And the best part of all, the scraps will make for some lovely spring eggs for the kiddums!


Next week we’re off to Redmond for a grandparental visit. I plan on hitting up grandma b. for a tutorial on mitered corners, because I’m not quite convinced that I’m doing it right (should I sew the corners, or just leave it all foldedy looking?)

And this lovely little face was our perfect welcome to spring today, despite the grumpy clouds above. Happy spring everyone!



Yet More

Still binding away over here! I was hoping to have everything finished up to catch some of Portland's nice big light today for pics, but no no no. Hand sewing takes time and patience and I thankfully have a little of both today. And it's so, so pretty compared to my previous quilt bindings (they will be so jealous). It almost makes me want to quilt the whole thing by hand...almost.

And special treat for me! I get to shop and dine with some (but not all) of my favoritest people tonight. My gift certificate to Amalee will not stop screaming to be spent (it’s really sort of embarrassing when we’re out in public) and then I get to partake in some tasty nibblings here.

Speaking of embarrassing public displays, my sweet daughter thought it fitting today to proclaim to our entire library storytime group that ‘mama farted’ (indeed I did NOT) and, since potty humor is way big amongst that crowd (I daresay it trumps dinosaurs and spidermen), sent the whole lot of them into a giggle fest. Last week she announced, very loudly again, that I had boogers in my nose, so I’m not sure if
this week was an improvement or if we’re on a downward slope to never, ever being able to show our (my) face in public again. I guess we’ll find out what she has up her sleeve at this weekend's easter egg hunt...stay tuned!


Bind Time

Can I just say, I am love love loving this binding tutorial. Have I mentioned yet that I'm making a quilt? Yes, insane me chose a quilt for my first week-long project. I've always been terrified of making my own bias tape and hand-binding my quilt. Why? I dunno!!! It's so easy and kinda fun actually. The only hiccup was losing the tape machine temporarily. And guess where it was? Yep, you got it -- I just followed the airplane noises to the 4-year-old and there it was!

And to keep me caffeinated, I gots me a little tamper at work:



Hey, What's that Sound

No worries. It’s just the sound of my weekly project deadline zooming by. Missed it. Oh well. Still going strong and realizing that although deadlines are useful, buffering them for, oh I don’t know, everyday life? may be wise. And I may adopt the measure twice, cut once advice that I’ve heard going around (But where is the fun in that, really?)

Here’s some of that everyday life stuff that I mentioned: Holden and Esme hard at work on their “quilts.”



Hello Two,


It’s been awhile, two years to be exact, since you’ve reared your sweetly mischievous and charming (if slightly neurotic) face. And although we’ve met before, we consistently underestimate you. Because even though you’re small, you are undeniably mighty in your power to render us, as a family, helpless in our defense.

You never cease to amaze us, Two, in your keen ability to transmutate completely at the sight of mis-cut grapes, an improperly sung song, the mere mention of unwanted pigtails. Your shrill protests render our ability to think, reason and articulate above the level of a kindergartener completely invalid.

Now please don’t take us wrong, Two. We welcome your resolute ambivalence with all the love, patience and humor that we possess (which can be challenging if you’re Four) and understand that we will soon miss these days of sweet, but sincere, irreverence.

So for now, Two, although you sometimes replace your sweet toddler smiles with sideways sneers, although we can never again show our faces at the Concordia New Seasons after yesterday’s fitful adventure, and although you leave us worn and bewildered after each day’s medley of quarrels, colloquies and coup d’etats, we still hold your sing-song voice close to our hearts (as we dodge your flailing limbs), we embrace your shrieks of joy (along with your screams of dismay), and we remember to always respect and admire your innate desire to rule your world (and ours), because Two, we love and adore all that is sweet, duplicitous, you.


Conversation with a 4-year-old Duck Farmer

Holden: we have a duck machine at school
Mama: a what?
M: what does your duck machine do?
H: it cracks eggs
M: oh, ok.
H: and the baby chicks come out
M: oh, an incubator?
H: yeah, an INGLOOBLATOR!!

M: got it.

Sneak Peek


Project is going well, and is Holden-approved (because I was holding my breath on that one…you’ll see!). So far this deadline thing is working for me and I am glad to have something to think about other than Esme’s current icky sickness (pooped herself awake from her nap yesterday, poor little e!). Did I mention she’s teething too? Yeah, it's been one of those weeks!

Here's a little sneak peak of the project. As soon as naptime's over, I'm breaking my golden rule and dragging everyone to fabric depot. I know, I know...but I just need thread. And a bias tape maker since I discovered this tutorial. And maybe one quick dash through the vintage prints for a summer Esme dress. And then we'll invariably have to peruse the Cars fabric section...Yes, we're headed for disaster this afternoon!

Happy weekend!!


Ooo, Ooo, Oooooo

Can I tell you how sweet my husband is? Would you mind if I gush a little? I fear I left a bad impression after my last post…really, he’s a great dad and expert prune juice dispenser.

Said sweet husband is on his way now, at exactly 9:30pm, to buy a cd on which I’m craving a song (Norah Jones/Sunrise) along with a
chocolate hazelnut milkshake (which we should NOT be consuming at 9:30pm!! Bad, Bad!). But can you believe this sweetness exists in the world? (and I’m not talking about the milkshake!)

Mind you, I never sent him on those pregnancy hormone-induced midnight runs for peanut butter and sprout sandwiches. Those cravings could wait until morning. But this song in my head is so sweet and simple and is the perfect background music for the project I’m working (diligently) on. Plus, Holden loves this song and I’m envisioning waking him to sweet sounds and homemade muffins…aww.

Oh dear. I hear raindrops. Thank you BriBri!

Smock Me

Another project that doesn't count, but wanted to get them up here before the kids paint them into oblivion...


Inspired by these and this! Main goal was to incorporate the infamous Cars print into something we could both love.

In other news, daddy narrowly escaped marital distress last night when he fed the baby (I know, she's 2, but she'll always be "the baby") 8+ ounces of prune juice and then sped off to his Mufon Meeting. Yeah. Needless to say, it was a productive evening but thankfully only resulted in 3 diaper changes.

The prune juice has mysteriously diappeared as well.


Spring Sprung

Originally uploaded by melmelmel
This is our nature table, in transition: pine cones, Camellias and sweet smelling Daphne. Mama nature has thrown us a few teaser days to assure that spring is on its way and we can't help but to bring her optimistic outlook indoors.

Above the table (and sweet little helper hand) is a completed project! Although it doesn't really count toward the weekly quota since it was completed sometime last month and took all of 30 minutes to make. I got it from my favorite little hut because I knew a calendar would be the perfect motivational project to get me in the crafting mode. The kiddos picked the fabric backings so it doubled as a crafty kid project, too.

And the project of the week is coming along nicely, although I do have to commandeer the kid's craft table in the evenings for more space. The paint and craft glue splotches just add to the charm, right??


In Order

Did I really say a craft project a week? Yes. I did. And I can do that...just need to make me some lists, because I loooooooove me a good list!! And lists of lists? Those are even better. So far I have:

craft project list
kid's project list
craft + kid's project list(?)
blog update list
blogs i love list
housework (bottom of list!!!)

And I scrapped fabric list (pun intended) because there is nothing worse than walking into a place like fabric depot with a list. Believe me, I've learned that the hard way as those trips usually end in tears. And those would be my own tears, as I've also learned never to bring my kids on fabric shopping trips as it'll inevitably entail 1) many angry glares as the babes scream their way up and down the aisles and 2) me inevitably coming home with yet another Cars print that Holden falls in love with.

Anyway, I got my fill o' fabric at this weekend's FD sale AND I have gift certificates to Superbuzzy and Bolt just screaming to be spent, so into the wild crafting yonder I go...

(and thank you, lisa! you've deflowered my blog with it's very first comment!)


Hello World...

...It's me (mama) making an attempt to finally start the craft blog of my dreams. I hope to follow in the footsteps of some of my most favoritest and craftiest of crafty internet blogger peeps. A tall order (for a shorty like me) so I'll take it slow and hope to complete a project a week (gasp!) to blog aboot.

So here goes...wish me lucks!!!



Originally uploaded by melmelmel
Oops, didn't realize it had been one year since I last blogged [ahem].

Amazing just how much, and how little, can happen in the span of a year's time: Mama burned through yet another career (she collects job titles as a hobby these days), Daddy finished and sold Pinky and bought a new pink house (again, the collecting thing) and Esme and I turned a year older. So in the spirit of turning over new leaves, I am turning my beloved blog over to mama in hopes that it will spark within her the creative fires that once be'd. Esme and I will likely make guest blog appearances and will absolutely insist on updates on our wellbeing and worldly words of wisdom. And yes, grandma, there will be plenty of pics!