Friday, December 28, 2007

Invisible Ink

I have been heroically avoiding holiday clean up. I don't want to avoid it but my slacky nature has won and I've been filling my time with Wii, knitting and D9's new science kit. Today we made invisible ink. Very simple and fun. All you need is 1/2 lemon, off white paper, paint brush (q-tips work great too) and a flame. oh yes, and adult supervision of course.

1. gather supplies

2. juice 1/2 lemon

3. think of a top secret message

4. lightly paint message with lemon juice. Allow message to dry...about 5 minutes.

5. Have an adult do this part. Use a heat source (flame, hair dryer, embossing heat gun) to make message appear. I used tongs and the stove burner. You need to keep moving the paper so it doesn't ignite.

Voila! D9's message. She rocks!

She didn't like my message so much...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Wii had a wonderful holiday...

literally ;-)

my favorite to play is the favorite to watch is the boxing. The dc also recieved many playmobil much fun! We have the forest lodge, jail, boats and travel doll house. We still haven't even put the lodge together yet. D9 received Twister from her daddy and her Uncle Rusty was a good sport to play it with her. I took it easy yesterday but it's time to pack it up tonight. I like to get my tree down before New Years. It seems so depressing after then. We're bringing the play table up from the basement tomorrow to arrange the playmobils on. Fun!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

We've been busy with houseguests this, visiting and playing boardgames. We did manage to get in some sledding though. Sending you all a Merry Christmas wish!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Dancin' with a lampshade...

Okay, so I didn't get that crazy but it was close. We had a wonderful time. Food was excellent, the singer had a voice like Nora Jones and it was an open bar. What more can you want??? Oh, and I received many compliments on my dress. Here I am in my dress (above) Ken caught me off guard so I wasn't smiling. Here are pics of my hair, which I loved my hair. I am even considering getting a middy cut so I can wear my hair in true 40's style. I won't go so far as to have a perm though. Last night was the first time I tried wearing Spanx pantyhose and if you don't have a pair, run out and get some! Oh my goodness are they terrific! Not to be too graphic but they are designed so you don't have to take off your hose every time you need to use the restroom. Fabulous :-)

I didn't get any good photos of the party because it was dark. It was gorgeous and festive though.

On a sad note. We came home and D9 discovered her tortoise had died. She was inconsolable. Poor kid. The ground is frozen so we can't bury him. She decided she wants to let him go in Nonni's river. We've never seen her so upset. I think Ken was close to throwing up he was so hurt for her. So if you could lift Abi Rose in prayers of comfort I would appreciate it greatly.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Horray!!! I finished my dress last night and it is passable as long as you don't look too closely at the velvet bubbling and the hem line. All in all though a pretty dress. I even had time to put my hair in rollers before look like Annie today. I was also able to make up a little cinch silk bag to carry my essentials. I'm packed up and waiting on Ken to wake from his nap then we're off. There'll be dancing, drinking of cocktails and adult's going to be heaven! :-)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Progress and advice needed...

I've made progress on the silk/velvet nightmare. I hand tacked the facing down and pressed it, which helped immensely. I have the skirt almost completely pieced. I had to
overlock each side of the panels because my serger is on the fritz. The skirt has 6 panels so that is eating up a bunch of my time.
Now to attach skirt, put in side zipper by hand (shudder) and hem it. Piece of cake...oh yeah, all by noon tomorrow. Plus I am going to pin curl my hair in back and roll the top so I can wear my hair like this in back with hair rolls like this in front. I love the 1940's style....sigh, I believe I was born in the wrong decade.
Okay, on to advice if you ladies don't mind. I am wanting to avoid flash see thru as there will be many pictures taken at the party tomorrow. I would like to avoid embarrassing my dh if at all possible. ;-) so the question is...would it be okay to wear a black slip and undergarments under the red or should I go with nude (coloring, not in the buff)?
I'm super excited about the party. Ken's work puts us up in a Very nice hotel so we don't have to drive home. The actually party is always very formal with gourmet food, live music and dancing. One year they had a mini orchestra and last year there were carollers in Victorian dress. Every year there is also horse drawn sleigh rides.
Off to fix dinner then back to sewing.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

What was I thinking???

Silk and velvet?!? I clearly overestimated my abilities. The sweat, tears, swearwords and foot stomping over the last few hours wasn't pretty people. Tears and silk just don't work well together. I've also found that ripping seams out isn't such a good idea with silk either. I had to take out the center band twice and it still isn't sitting correctly. I'm hoping once I tack down the facing and give it a light press it will look better. If all else fails, I'll wear a shawl the whole party. To top it off, my serger is acting all wonky. I think I need a cookie...or two...or a dozen.

There's a party in my tummy...'s been a foodie week so far. I should actually say a cookie week. We've made chinese almond cookies (no pic, they were eaten too fast), crinkled molasses (surprisingly delicious) and tonight Jedi helped me whip up some orange spice cookies (my favorite so far.) I made a double batch of those so that means 11 dozen cookies. YIKES! I'm about half way through the baking and will finish up tomorrow.

Have I mentioned how much I love my sis' Loral??? She surprised me with a jolly pack of my favorite fabric, Micheal Miller Fairyfrost, from Fatquartershop. So sparkly and delicious! I quickly made up a cute little tree I found via Natalie's Chicken Blog. She's done up some super cute ones in felt.

I'm off to work on my dress for Ken's party on Saturday. I've been dreading sewing the silk. I don't think I'll have time to handfell the seams. I will probably just change out my serger thread to red. Wish me luck!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Smoothie Binge

I'd like to thank my sister Loral for getting my kids hooked on smoothies. That's all D9 has talked about since she came home from an overnight stay a few days ago. So here is our version of a smoothie.

Sorry, no exact measurements as I was making 4 smoothies at once...

frozen blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries, banana, yogurt, pineapple juice, wheat germ and flax seed. My youngest two were born with digestive issues so the extra fiber is great. This will probably become a regular snack at our house. Plus we get the added benefit of brain freeze and purple mustaches!

Sunday, December 09, 2007


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I love having the freedom to not have a "perfect" tree. The ornaments on our tree are clumped together, backwards and hanging precariously. The kids decorate most of the tree. I figure I'll have plenty of time to hang every ornament "just so" when they're gone at college.

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The kids prepare to decorate by fortifying themselves with eggnog. (no rum)

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Ken says, "how you doin' ?" after his rummed eggnog.

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Ken hangs the star.

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Some of my favorite ornaments...

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My first Radko ornament. My mom gave it to me for D9's first Christmas. I was so sad when it was damaged in a flood. I have been searching for a replacement but no luck.

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D9 made a little snowman family to represent us.

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We got this ornament the year we brought Baby home (Nov 04) Mama and Pappa snowman holding their snowflake baby.

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My mom gave me and Ken these two. Yep, I'm a Dem and he's a Rep.

I have a busy day planned. Ken wants a Christmas vest to wear to his work party. He's requested inside pockets to store his cigars. (eye roll) Do any of you sewing ladies have dh's who have alot more confidence in your sewing abilities than you do? I swear not a year goes by that Ken doesn't ask me to make him a suit. A SUIT! I've tried explaining that I would have to go to tailoring school to do something of that magnitude. Although I would love to attend a Martha Pullen sewing retreat someday...sigh. I also need to get busy on my dress for the party next weekend. Not to mention all the xmas eve jammies I need to make up. Enjoy your Sunday!

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Nothing makes me feel more successful as a mom than when dinner is a big hit and I hear, "May I have more x,y and z please?" Tonight was one of those nights. Steak, baked potatoes, beans and salad w/ homemade croutons. I'm feeling especially glad the steak was a big hit because we just stocked our freezer with half a cow. mmmmm....delicious! Jedi kept smacking his lips and exclaiming, "this cow is gooooooood!" I love having kids growing up in the country. This summer while visiting the 4-H barn at the county fair the kids loved the pigs. Jedi, 4, kept remarking, "pigs make bacon right? I love bacon." little foodie!

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another success was this hat I knit up for Baby...I used my favorite yarn, colorspun and adapted a Debbie Bliss pattern. Baby likes it.

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My nephew, 8, stayed over last night. He and Jedi had a 24 hour Star Wars-a-thon. Lightsabers and yoda voices rang through the house, Jedi refused to be "on the dark side", my nephew was a good sport and crossed to the darkside to be Darth Maul. Thanks buddy! They ended their Star Wars-a-thon by spending the afternoon side by side taking turns playing Star Wars on Ken's PSP.

We're decorating the tree tonight. Ken's on his way out for eggnog and rum. YUM! We're putting up the fake tree this year. I can hear you all tsking and shaking your heads at my fake tree but I have a good excuse this time. My one year old niece is coming for the holidays and I don't want to be vacuuming every ten minutes so she doesn't poke her tootsies. Plus it's pre-lit which is kinda nice. Next year though, I promise to chop down our own tree while singing christmas carols and sipping hot cider. I'll even string popcorn and cranberries. Okay okay, we'll probably use the fake one next year too but I'm sure I'll have a good excuse.

Friday, December 07, 2007


5:30 p.m. brrrrrrinnnngggg caller i.d. = Mantra 1-800-blah blah blah


bubbly young woman, "Hi there! You may be familiar with our videos Men Gone Wild. I'm calling..."

me cutting in, "What?!? You mean like Girls Gone Wild?"

giggling young woman, "Yes, you are familiar. Anyway, I'm calling..."

me angrily cutting in again, "Are you kidding me? It's 5:30 and my family is sitting down to dinner. My 9 year old answers the phone sometimes. Let me speak to your..."


Why you shouldn't (ver 3)

get two stupid dogs. We originally had just one stupid (not really, i only include him to make the REAL stupid dog feel better) Sparky. He is a super mutt dog. We saved him from the pound and he has been a faithful companion ever since. He's old and sick now so I fear the day is near. I thought it was yesterday in fact. After shopping I opened the door to the house and there was Stupid #2, Charlie Brown (chocolate lab), knocking me over to go out. Sparky, always the gentledog, usually waits for me to come in and give him a "good dog" before running out. He wasn't there. I searched and throat getting tight with the thought that I might find him "gone." Now, I'm usually not one to get worked up over pets but Spark really is a good dog who's been here everytime we've brought a baby home, has happily gone on all 8 house moves over the last 12 years and lets children "love" him. I did find him locked in my sewing room a tad panicked. Afraid the fabric would topple and smother him, I'm sure.

Back to why you shouldn't get two stupid dogs...this above. These pictures were taken within seconds today with me standing in the same spot. Good boy Sparky is waiting patiently at the front door to be let in...dumb dumb Charlie Brown is barking his head off at the wrong door. Many many MANY times a day we have to go through this. I call and call him to get him to come to the right door. He just stands there, "duh. I can see you. let dumb dumb in." Being a total dog training slacker and downright lazy butt I sigh disgustedly and finally let him in the "wrong door." Who's dumb now???

Monday, December 03, 2007

let it snow, let it snow...

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Okay, enough already!!! We've had some pretty snowy and windy weather here which means no power. When our power goes out the bane of my existence erupts. The Boiler. When the boiler overheats (lack of power) it spews water everywhere and we have no heat. Luckily we have a generator this year. I have to get it started and switched within 5 minutes of the power going out to avoid overheating the boiler though. The plow guy got a show (not a pretty one) yesterday when I ran out there in a tee shirt and jammy pants to do the generator race. The overheating wouldn't be so bad if everytime it happened we didn't need a plumber to come out and purge our lines which runs about $400 each time. sigh.

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Better news bff Krista came up for a visit with her boys. We had a fabulous time chatting the nights away. Ken even watched all 6 kids so we could grab lunch and do some shopping. Isn't he the best??? Above pic, D9 is showing the boys her favorite snow long can you keep your face in the snow. Yeah, why play with toys when you can plunge your face in snow?!?

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Thankfully power was restored about 9 p.m. last night and I was able to work on my New Years dress. A duro dress made with brocade. It is a trial run for the dress I need to make for Ken's formal Xmas work party. I had ordered a gorgeous red dress from Coldwater Creek but it was too big and now I don't have time to reorder. I am going to make the duro dress in red silk with black velvet for the bands. I had some trouble with the bands not lying correctly on the brocade. I'm hoping it'll work better with the silk.

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Drawing prizes have been sent to Pam and Natalie so keep an eye on the mail ;-)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

a March girl...

Just had to share this beautiful ear warmer my sister, Loral, made for baby. Isn't it adorable? It reminds me of something one of the Little Women would've worn.

Mail's Here!!!

I think I've mentioned before how much I love Mail. Today was a fabulous mail day...clothes from Coldwater Creek and a swap package from the very generous and kind Kiva. She was my partner in a notions swap hosted by Julie over at Red Hen Studios. She and a group of crafty ladies just opened a new store, Collage. Definately worth checking out.

Look at my haul!

Magazines, fabric, button covers, vintage runner (which will work beautifully with some purple candles I have) cute blue button pin and look at all that lace (I'm thinking lace angels for the tree) and notions!

Look at this elastic band!!! How cool is that? I'm going to use it to trim out a terry cloth suit for Baby.

And look at these vintage bunny appliques...definately going to be used this spring.

A heartfelt thank you going out to Kiva for this wonderful package!

Tonight is our Secret Santa party for the ebay design group I belong to...theJills. I have my Margarita bucket ready...although it's a bit cold here today so maybe I'll change it up to Kahlua and hot cocoa. I can't wait to open my present. The kids are excited too...they've been having to look at that box for several days and the suspense is killing them.

Oh, I have nearly all my shopping done! Woo hoo woo hoo. :-) Thanks to a great Toy site Utoypia. They had the best prices I could find on Playmobil plus free shipping for orders over $98. I ordered at 11 p.m. and my package was sent the very next morning. I can't say enough about how pleased I was with their service. Now Target on the other hand, very unsatisfactory service and downright misleading "availability" status. Two items I ordered which were "available" to ship w/in 24 hrs now won't ship until Dec. 29th. Oh and no you can't cancel because we are "preparing to ship that." sheesh.

Tonight my friend Krista and 3 of her rascals are driving up from downstate. I hope the weather holds and the 5 hr drive isn't too rough. I'm really excited to just hang out with her and catch up.