Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Old Socks and American Girls

D brought a pair of worn socks down to the kitchen this morning asking if I wanted to do anything with them or if he should throw them out.  I told him I would stick them in the bag of ripped and stained clothes that I drop in the clothing recycle bin.  But of course my crafty little brain started thinking about what I could make with them.  M is really in to playing with her American Girl dolls and I have been crafting for them.  I decided the socks would make cute skirts for "the girls".   Here's what the first finished skirt looks like on Grace:

I took some pictures as I made the other skirt.  It's not a tutorial, just a few step by step pictures that give an idea of the simple process.

First, find a sock.  We have a lot of orphan socks around here, but these were a worn out pair.

The size of this ribbed men's Smart Wool sock worked well.

 So I cut the ribbed part off and saved the foot in case I come up with a project for that.

I turned the sock inside out and pulled the top part of the sock up over the doll's waist to make a mini skirt that just barely covered her bum.  The bottom part of the sock became the hem of the skirt and I folded it up so I could hem it.  It was really important to hem it on the doll so that I knew it would be able to stretch over her legs.

I'm not the most careful or patient seamstress, so here's what the hem looks like.  It's okay, because I'll turn that skirt right-side-out and pull the part I hemmed up as the waist.

Katherine would be so embarrassed if she knew you could see her panties in these pictures!

Here are the finished skirts on Grace and Katherine.  They are also sporting custom t-shirts with felt designs.   My daughter would probably narrate what they're doing in this way (because she watches a lot of YouTube videos about morning routines, etc.):

"Grace and Katherine are all ready for a day out.  They're wearing adorable brown knit skirts and the most adorable custom t-shirts.  Grace is wearing cute brown shoes and Katherine is wearing purple flats to match her tee.  They've packed their tote bag and are ready to go."

The shirt on Katherine (on the right) was made using an American Girl Crafts kit.  The cupcake tee on Grace is a t-shirt I bought on Amazon embellished with a cupcake made from a pattern in the same AG craft kit.  The dogs are glued onto Katherine's shirt but the cupcake on Grace's shirt is affixed with velcro so my daughter can switch it out for other designs like the heart in the first picture of the post (and below on Grace's hand).

So, if you've got an old sock and a little time you too could make a doll skirt.  The skirt can also be worn as a cute tube top.  This is my first American Girl Doll post, but there will probably be more.  My daughter loves her dolls and both of us enjoy crafting!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Not Thirty-Something Anymore!

I haven't touched this blog in ages, but I have decided that I might start writing again.  I opened up the blog and what first struck me was the subtitle about being a 30-something in suburbia.  I'm still in suburbia, but I'm a 40-something now!  So many changes since I used to keep this blog!  For anyone who might have followed me on the past and still has me in an RSS feed, here's a visual update of "the nursery" closet which now belongs to my 6 year old daughter M.

A couple of those neatly labeled bins remain (not so neatly labeled anymore), and the color remains, but now it's a reflection of her personality!

Oh, and there are now some horses living in that room too...

And if anyone recalls that craft room/office project I was going to's where we are now:

Life kind of got in the way of tackling that project.  This is M's desk...she's a crafty girl like her momma (and takes after me in the neatness department too).

I'm working on a long story that I'm hoping will somehow find it's way to Julia Louis Dreyfus for inclusion as a side story in may have it's first audience on this blog...wait and see.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Putting thoughts on paper

This morning in the car I was thinking about writing to work through a lot of the things that are running around in my head.  Then I remembered that once upon a time I wrote a blog, and it still exists...wonderous thing this Internet.  So here I am, feeling like a very different person than I did when I started this blog many years ago.

The snapshot update is this:

My son "E" is nearly 5 years old.  Last time I posted he would only eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Now he only eats peanuts (I exaggerate, but only very slightly..he actually eats about 6 additional crunchy foods).  He's a love.  I love him, and I worry about him...a lot.

My daughter "M" is almost 3 years old.  She's like a little version of me.  All feistiness and fun one minute, and crying into her blankies the next minute.  I love her a lot, but I don't worry about her as much.

The house is different too.  We've gotten new siding, a new roof, an awesome new deck and porch, and I finally re-painted the front door.  The little perennial garden on the side of the house is big and out of control.  There are no vegetables growing this year, the chipmunks ate the strawberries.

Cooking doesn't happen much at my house any more.  On occasion I bake gluten and dairy free treats, and once in a blue moon I cook a real dinner for my family.  Food has lost much of it's pleasure for me because my little boy doesn't is a source of stress, not of pleasure.  Grocery shopping makes me feel depressed as I look at food and think to myself, "is there any chance he'll eat this?"

As I write this, my heart feels heavy and my eyes are just barely not crying.  I've had depression for a very long time (probably always, but it didn't really rear its head until college), and I'm in a depressive stage right now.  It will always does.  I just have to ride it out.  In the past when things have gotten really hard I've just quit.  Quit jobs, quit relationships.  I've headed back to where I feel most parents.  But I'm a grown woman with a family of my own now and quitting is not an option.

I'm not sure who will read this or whether anyone will, and I don't think that matters (maybe I'm still in some people's RSS feeds).  The writing itself feels good.  And D (my husband) if you're reading, I will talk to you about the things I post here so they are not a surprise, but sometimes things come out much easier for me when I write than they do when I talk.  So ask me about what you've read...I might forget to tell you (or think I've already told you) since thoughts don't stay in my brain very long.

There are lots of blogs out there about lots of things and lots of them are awesome and inspiring.  Sometimes this blog will be like that.  If you're new, look back at my old posts and you'll see where I've been.  I'll get back there.  Maybe not to the same things...but to other things that are creative and productive or just plain silly.  I remember that writing this blog made me do things just so I could write about them.  Maybe that's not the healthiest reason to do things, but if it motivates me then that's good.

So that's that.  "Welcome back," I say to myself.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

it's been a long time

I haven't even thought about this blog in a long time, but today I accessed it in order to copy some recipes that I knew I had typed on here. So much has changed since I last posted. I now have 2 children--E is 28 months old and my daughter M is 4 months old!

I rarely cook any more since E doesn't eat anything but peanut butter and jelly and D is rarely home for dinner. I'm still dabbling at crafts, but now they're toddler crafts involving things like pom poms, feathers, and glitter glue. Today I helped E make valentines for his cousins and I used tissue paper and elmer's glue to decoupage a clear plastic plate that I saved from the recycling bin.

Of course, I have to add some pictures, but I don't really want to post pics of the kids, so here goes:

E drew this on D's iphone:

E refused to walk in the snow, so I made this "snow muppet" for him:

This is the kind of "cooking" I've been doing lately (yup, that's play-doh):

Thursday, May 28, 2009

8 1/2 months!

Baby E is now 8 1/2 months old, has 4 teeth, sits up, feeds himself cheerios, babbles with consonant sounds, holds board books and turns the pages, combat crawls, and charms the pants off of me every day!

Here's a picture from Mother's Day when we went to the "beach" at NARA Park in Acton.

And here's a picture I took of Baby E when I got out of the shower one day. I put him in his crib to play while I showered, and I guess he was so pooped he decided to take a nap. He takes after his mommy with the ability to sleep at the drop of a hat!

So, I used to think D was a bit of a (blanking on the word I really want to us) freak because he didn't want his picture anywhere on this blog, but the Baltimore Sun recently grabbed a picture off of my friend Wendy's blog and now it's all over the place (it's a picture of our friend holding Wendy's baby). So, any of my blog reading friends (if anyone still has this in their RSS feed/google reader), I now think it's wise that the only pictures of Baby E on here don't show his face.

Here's one last picture of baby E's little hand...

And what would my blog be without garden pictures.... here's how it's looking this year...

A rhododendron the deer didn't entirely eat.

This year's tomatoes...SunGold and Green Zebra

A caterpillar on my little ornamental tree...I hand picked 252 of them off the tree and didn't even make a dent.

The left side of the front of the house after I planted a new spirea and D spread mulch. The right side is still a disaster.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

8 Weeks...

Yesterday was the 8 week anniversary of E's birth. What a difference 8 weeks makes. I was just looking through the pictures from his first day and he looks so incredibly little!! E was 6 1/2 lbs when he was born, and if I had to guess, I would say he's 11 lbs now (we'll find out on Monday). He now smiles like crazy and makes really cute noises. He's also capable of sleeping for 4 hours straight...I wish it was more than that, but I'll take 4 whenever I can get it!

During the past few weeks we've developed somewhat of a rhythm. I wouldn't call it a routine yet, but we're getting there. D gets up with E around 5:30 or so and feeds him, changes him, and plays with him/falls asleep on the couch with him until about 7:30. At that time, D puts E in bed next to me and gets ready for work. Sometimes E will sleep with me for another 2 hours, sometimes only a 1/2 hour, but I just love cuddling with him.

When E wakes up I feed him and change him and usually change him out of his PJs into his clothes. Then we watch some Ellen (live, or on the DVR) while I have coffee and breakfast. I usually do a quick email check and double check the calendar to make sure I haven't forgotten something we're supposed to do that day (I LOVE Google calendar). If we don't have anywhere we have to be, we just hang out and play on his playmat, or he snoozes in my lap while I watch some TV (I record 2 episodes of M*A*S*H and 1 episode of Jeopardy! everyday so that I always have something on hand to watch if E's fussy and just wants to be held).

We try our best to get out of the house every day. We'll either do some errands, meet up with other moms and kids, or get out for a nice walk around the neighborhood. These days I try to get back to the house by 1pm because E is taking somewhat predictable afternoon naps. While E sleeps, I do some laundry, cooking/baking, write thank yous, clean up/organize my piles of stuff, work on things for my Friends and Newcomers Club, or sometimes even take a nap.

Towards the end of the afternoon we usually end up back on the couch, often catching up on things we've recorded on the DVR. I never watch the news, though I probably should sometimes. I'm in a media vacuum--I know nothing about things happening in the world unless Ellen talks about it. I used to listen to NPR faithfully on my way to and from work so I was always up on what was happening, but I never seem to remember to turn the radio on when I'm at home.

When D gets home from work, I give E to him so they get to spend as much time as possible together. Then I go into full on dinner cooking mode. I am so grateful to have my hands free that I have been making pretty good dinners the past few weeks. Nothing is gourmet or takes longer than about 1/2 hour to make, but we're no longer eating Mac and Cheese out of a box on a regular basis. I've also gotten better about grocery shopping once a week with a list. I never really would do that before. I typically would pick things up here and there, or would buy way more than I needed at Trader Joe's or the produce market and never had things that would make a full meal. Having to take E with me everywhere means I like to do as much one-stop-shopping as I can, and I covet drive-thus. Today I had Dunkin Donuts coffee for the 2nd time since E was born because none of the Dunkin's near us have drive-thrus and I don't want to get the baby out of the car just to get a coffee!

So, after dinner I usually try to get some laundry done (which reminds me, I have to put some in the dryer now) and then spend time on the computer doing email, organizing/editing pictures, checking on my meetup groups, or working on WFN stuff. I tend to get lost in an online time warp and the next thing i know it's 11pm and time for me to go to bed!!! The next day it starts all over again.

I have to say, I am the happiest I have ever been. Being a stay-at-home mom with a wonderful husband and an adorable baby suits me very well. Throughout my 20s I was a workaholic because I didn't have the things I really wanted which were a family and a home. Now I'm a momaholic...and it's great!

Time to change the laundry over and make dinner for D and me! I also hear a little whimpering from baby E which means he must be hungry!

Friday, November 7, 2008

I Liked this stuff enough to save it for 20+ years...

I went through some boxes in my garage today while E was sleeping. The boxes came from my parents' basement and are things that were in my room/closet at some point. I'm thinking I must have boxewd all of these up before entering high school because there were some real treasures in there! The pottery items are all my original designs from middle school...I also found a book of poetry I wrote 20 years ago--very deep, dark stuff...worthy of a Pulitzer! Most of this stuff went into the garbage (I thought about Freecycling it, but really, who would want this crap?), but I did hold on to some of these objects d'art!
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