Losing My Marbles

... but in a good way!

I posted on the (not just) Daddy Day Camp blog about the "Marble Jar". totally NOT my idea! I got it from Let's Explore.

I've got a big bucket of marbles and a small galss canning jar. The boys (Andy & Ryan - Colin tried to eat the marbles) get to take marbles out of the bucket and put them in the jar when praise is in order. The amout of marbles is up to us and depends on what they did and how hard they try.

We used to use a system of pennies. Each kid had a jar and we had a jar. They lost pennies for mis-behaving, but could earn them back. It became focused on the negative behavior, not the positive and really just backfired, so we abandoned it.

The marbles are strictly POSITIVE reinforcement. It forces us to remember to give them plenty of praise and it is a form of praise that they can see and touch. They share a jar, so, they BOTH have to behave to get the reward. We've had issues of one instigating just to get the other in trouble (they both do it).

Once the jar is full, they will earn their reward - a trip to the book store and $15 to spend - each. Now, that could have just as easily been a trip to the Public Library - and it almost was. BUT Andy is reading the Andrew Lost series and is on his last book. We would be buying him more anyway... Ryan and I are reading The Magic Tree House on loan from his cousin, but I want him to get something he can read on his own. He has been reading to Colin, which is great, but he is reading "baby" books that are well below his abilities.

While we are on the topic of kid books, Barnes & Noble is having a summer reading program for school-aged kids. they read 8 books, fill out a "reading Journal" and bring it in to the store and get a coupon for a FREE BOOK! SInce my kids are required to keep summer reading journals anyway, this one is a no-brainer!


TGIF 6/27

  • fun weekend plans
  • being me
  • pretty things for my pretty things
  • "found" money
  • non-existent drainage manuals that mysteriously appear on my desk.
  • desires
  • words
  • peel 'n stick
  • my bike
  • friends
  • fresh fruit
  • knitting new challenges
  • Daddy Day camp
  • new baby sitters
  • fun weekend plans - grown-up style!
  • Secret S CDs
  • simmering
  • warmth
  • kneesocks - LOL!
  • cocky
  • seductive
  • sticky
  • bouyant



I found a great deal on HUGE microfiber towels, so I picked up an armful. I was finally inspired to sew new diapers for Colin. he really needs larges - especailly pocket fitteds for night, but I've been so burned out in the diaper sewing department. This was the inspiration I needed. I cut out enough (6) MFTs to make 3 diapers and 2 inserts! I put together 1 of each. Colin wore it to bed that night.

That motivated me to wrap up the shorts I am knitting for him. I think I increased too much in the gussets and they were certainly big on him, but I cut the elastic to the right size and it worked out. However, due to the oversize, I ran out of yarn....so I grabbed a somewhat coordinating leftover from the stash and went with that for the waist band. He wore those that night as well...

With those done (and a highly bruised kneecap) I decided to cast on my Forrest Path Stole. My second - and biggest - lace project. It is knit in cobweb weight silk (think thread). the blocks are done in entrelac- a technique I've never attempted. Since that isn't hard enough, I am opting to replace the nupps in the Lillies of the Valley blocks with seed beads (which I haven't bought yet). Did I mention that I am only doing the Lillies of the Valley blocks? unless I can find a lace pattern for heather that will work. I am planning on wearing it for our 10th anniversary vow renewal - next April. I had Lillies of the Valley in my boquet when we were married - and white heather too, so that'll work fi I find it. So far I have the bottom border and one base triangle knit. I need more stitch holders.


Last Day of School!

Daddy Day Camp starts tomorrow! and I'm ready... hope Daddy is!

Today, the boys present their teachers with gifts that I made.

They each got a Wonder Wallet in Eric Carle prints. How can you not LOVE those fabrics? and for a K and 1st grade teacher? one is retireing, so she got a gift card to DnD in hers. The other just came to the school this year and is still trying to accumulate materials, so she got a GC to Staples in hers. The boys picked the colors and the snaps.


TGIF 6/20/08

  • Chateau du Chat!
  • Iron Maiden
  • Launchcast
  • MTA (gas is $4.37 and the traffic is STILL a mess on I-95!)
  • grappling lessons
  • Daytrana patches
  • graham crackers
  • Eric Carle
  • quilt contributors (thanks SO much for the fabric! only 752 charms to go!)
  • A&W - I love this stuff WAY too much!
  • sleep
  • a fixed texter
  • the pink shit - that stuff is the shit!
  • getting help when I need it.
  • friends
  • family
  • sanity
  • sincerity
  • fabric and fiber
  • fun - and relaxing - plans for the w/e.
  • gourmet meals

Back to the Begging (Charming)

First, I have to thank those of you who have sent me your scraps or are digging through your stash! THANK YOU!!!

A few people have asked for an idea of what colors I need, so I took some pictures.

Blues: I'm going to stick in the dark range - fabrics that read solid/near solid:

Ambers: The inspiration here is the song "Amber" and the line in the song that is guiding my color scheme is "shades of gold displayed naturally". The color values will graduate light to dark in some fashion. right now I'm thinkning light on top, dark on the bottom, but it'll all depend on what I end up with. hard to tell in this picture, but the top left is a metallic - but not a lamae.



(Not Just) Daddy Day Camp

I just started a new blog dedicated to what our family refers to as "Daddy Day Camp" (we coined the phrase BEFORE the movie - which we haven't seen yet). The details are on the blog, but it will chronicle the activities that we set out for the kids (crafts and such) to keep them busy - and Daddy sane. I'm also adding in links to activities as I find them. enjoy!

(Not Just) Daddy Day Camp

Shout out

I just wanted to give a quick shout out to whomever found my blog by blogsearching "my whore". Did you enjoy the geraniums? hope you like them!


...because Nicole wants to know....

In an effort to green up the world, what's the one thing you don't want to change?

you know.. this is a tough one. Not much because I am a tree-hugging hippie. I'm cheap thrifty and our society is pretty wasteful (enough with the packaging already!). You all know how I feel about Ethanol and our infrastructure and mass transit systems are inadequate. I use cloth diapers, cloth bags and I LMAO at people who buy bottled water which is - in most cases - not as "clean" as your tap water.

BUT I think what it comes down to it that I don't want us to stop being Americans. Sure, Europe is way ahead of us as far as "going green", but they live another life style. In some ways it is healthier - they walk more and eat "closer to the Earth" (translation - less processed garbage). Americans, however, march to our own drummer. We think outside the box. We still have not lost the "American Dream" - we've just outsourced it to India and China. I don't think we should lose that by trying to be more European. Maybe we can just go easy on the packaging...

Come to think of it, I don't want to give up my big American car. I have no desire to idle on I-95 for 3 hours a day either, but when I go somewhere with the kids, I want room for the giant stroller, a cooler, camp chairs, the diaper bag etc... and oh yeah.. the kids car seats. Which, for those of you out of the loop, just keep getting bigger and bigger. (Extended rear facing is great, but can we make a seat that fits in anything other than a minivan?) I have a tall husband and 3 boys. I'm keeping my SUV - until we trade it in for a bigger (hybrid) one!

While we are on the subject, I feel the need to point out (again) that even though I think we need to clean up after ourselves, I'm getting pretty fed up/bored with the Global Warming hype. So, Nicole - or anyone else- if you still need something to read, check this out. Then you can go tell Al Gore to put that in his pipe and smoke it (just don't inhale!)


Parallel Universes.....

I can't believe I forgot to mention this in the Maiden post....


...towards the bgining of the show... Bruce Dickenson was saying how there was SUCH a variety of people in the crowd (no, really, they weren't all white guys in black T-shirts!) and that Maiden and thier fans do not conform to anyone's establishment....

...which is basically what the Yarn Harlot said about knitters..


Miaden fans are just like knitters. I'm willing to bet that I was not the only knitter at the show on Sunday...

Maiden Square Garden

Now, I've never not liked Maiden. I've always liked their music - even when it fell into the catagory of "noise comming from my brother's room". when we were dating, Todd made me a mix tape (geez.. that puts a date on it, doesn't it?) of mostly Zepplin and Maiden. I LOVED it and listened to it when I was delivering fried chicken in the projects.

On Father's Day, Todd and I (and several thousand other people) went to see Iron Maiden at Madison Square Garden. I can honestly say that I am now a "real" Maiden Fan (and I added Bruce Dickenson to my "list")!

We both broke the "don't be that guy" rule - and as it turns out, so did about 90% of the people there - and when MSG is sold out.... that is a LOT of people! We came out of Penn Station and it was just a sea of black T-shirts with various incarnations of "Eddie". I wore a "Killers" shirt - similar to the one Colin wore home from the hospital.

These guys rocked the Garden for a solid 2 hours....well, not solid... they did take a a break for a game of soccer football when the PA system lost power during... are you ready?......Powerslave... yeah... the irony was lost on noone. They handeled it with a sense of humor - and a ball that magically appeared from backstage.


oh yeah.. did I mention where our seats were? we were in the "I LOVE Maiden, but I'm too damn old for General Admission section... side stage.. 4 rows back! our view of the stage was somewhat obstructed, but it was kind of cool getting a bit of a backstage peek. I took these with my cell, so they aren't the greatest, but you get an idea of our view...


Welcome to my whore house

I posted briefly about Mother's Day. Not the best weekend in my neck of the woods, but my little guys did come through for me! Andy bought me a "garden" at school. a bunch of small potted plants and a couple six pack (PLANTS!) one of them, the one he was most proud of , was a Geranium - a RED Geranium.


I love my son, but I HATE geraniums! Well, not all geraniums. I do have some lovely, dainty, purple Scented Geraniums (you'll have to trust me on the purple part, they just passed bloom) that I adore.


But red? Isn't that what prostitutes used to put in the window to let their clients know that they were open for business? In fact, I think that is where the red in "red light district" comes from.. I'll have to Google that, but I'm pretty sure it is.

Anyway, this ugly thing is blooming right in front of my mailbox for everyone to see as they come to the door. maybe it'll die. what am I saying, those things never die. I guess I'll just have to wait for an early frost...


Yarn Barf

One of my biggest pet peeves.

The whole point of working from a center-pull skein is so that you don't have to deal with knots, tangling and balls of yarn rolling down the aisle of the train car (or is that just me?)

I'm knitting Todd's socks in ONlinie 3 Supersocke 100 - which I got on sale at WEBS because it is being discontinued. It isn't the softest sock yarn, but it seems like a durable yarn and a bit more "grabby" than some others. Maybe I just got used to primuim sock yarn. My last 2 pairs were in Loran's Laces afterall... there are no knots (so far and I'm not even to the heel yet) and no bizzare dye screw ups (had that happen with Fortissiama Colori). It isn't even splitty (again with the Fortissima - which hasnt' held up for anything).

BUT the skeins keep barfing! I spend more time untangling than knnitting these days! BAH!


TGIF- Friday the 13th!

  • parites
  • picnics
  • concerts
  • Chateau du Chat
  • trains
  • yarn
  • my bike
  • my brain
  • sweet, smart, honest boys
  • sunscreen
  • 4-day work weeks
  • being a "girl"
  • all my cyber-buddies who are combing their fabric stashes for me!
  • 311 inspiration
  • creativity
  • vision
  • movement
  • music
  • healing
  • kiddie pools
  • tea
  • concert tickets
  • invitations


The One Where I Beg

My quilt guild is having two quilt challenges this year. One is a "Charm Quilt"-at least crib size and you can only use each fabric once. The other is to portray the title of a song. I decided to be lazy efficient and make one quilt that follows the rules of both challenges.

what is intersesting is that in all my years dancing, I've become accustomed to music inspiring movement - but it has never inspired my fiber before. but there is a first for everything. my recent quilts have been inspired by the fabrics and even a blank wall.. so why not music?

the song: "Amber" by 311. It's been lodged in my brain for WEEKS, so I may as well go with that, right?

the paln: I'm going to stick to a color pallette of amber/gold with a bit of royal/navy thrown in to make it all pop - and because I think it fits the song. I still need to pick my template, but I'm thinking something with curves that will give a wavey effect and have lots of movement. but curves- EEK! I sew better in straight lines!

the problem: I dug through my stash and found a total of 6 amber and 5 blues. yeah.. I'm gonna need LOTS more!

the begging: If you have any amber/gold or royal/navy fabric scraps (roughly 5" square) you'd like to part with, I'd be happy to take them off your hands (I'll gladly swap for what you need!) drop me an e-mail: herselfATsnetDOTnet. just ,you know, fix the AT and the DOT parts.


The Ethanol Rant (I warned you!)

There is great debate among the experts (which I am NOT- I'm just opinionated) as to the "net energy" involved in Ethanol production. In other words, does making Ethanol use more energy than it produces. Don't believe me? look here.

Like I said, this isn't my area of expertise, BUT if the net production of energy is that close, then why debate it? more importantly, why use it?

It certainly isn't any more cost effective - even with the price of oil climbing (again). Well, maybe if you are the farmer it is...

Which brings me to my biggest bitch with Ethanol. Our farmers grow acre upon acre upon acre of corn that is completely inedible. With SO many people starving in this country and millions more around the world, wouldn't it make sense to grow food that we can actually eat? People are starving so that we can pay so much more for an inefficient fuel that we can't afford fresh produce... thanks...

How about we just level Iraq and take the oil? what the hell, the rest of the world is accusing us of doing it anyway....


The things we endure for our kids

Last week, Ryan's class- and the other kindergarten classes put on a little year-end show for the families. Songs we've never heard and square dancing (Have I mentioned that we live in the 'burbs of CT?). good thing they are cute!


I'm a Lazy Girl

When I am invited to a baby shower (or somebody I like has a new baby) I like to give a little soemthign special. Something that the new parents may not think of or something I found useful. I think every new baby needs something special and every new mom deserves to be pampered. that led me to make this for Declan and his parents (may as well get used to it now..).


and the inside:

the contents (tissue holder, snap-in key fob, wetbag, fleece pants, 2 funFolds, 4 wipes and a Wonder Wallet):

As far as I know, they are going the disposable diaper route. This will give them everythign they need to gove cloth a try if they want BUT it'll still be useful if they don't.
the details: Asisde for the WW and the bag, the rest of the patterns reside - more or less - in my head. I was initially going to make a Miranda Day Bag, but the baby came before I could get my hands on the pattern. SO, I pulled out my Town Purse pattern and did some math to make it bigger (probably a bit bigger than it needs to be... but that is better than smaller, right?). The print fabric for the bag is also from Woodstock Quilt Supplies. The other fabrics were procured locally at Joann's.


Everyone has their price

We live in a society where we need our cars. not just a car... our very own car. we don't want to carpool or take mass transit because "I need my car".

As gas prices started to really climb a few years ago, people were complaining, but qualified it with "I need my car". Prices continued to rise. The price of everything else started to go up because of fuel/transportation costs. We blame it on everyone from Big oil, to President Bush, to Habib* that owns the gas station on the corner. The reality is that it is our own fault. The price keeps going up, but demand doesn't drop. Cost of living is through the roof, but our pay checks are not likely to rise at the same rate.

Everyone has their price though. There comes a point where people look at the bottom line and realize that they cannot continue in the same way and costs need to be cut. In the last month, I've noticed that the trains and buses are FAR more crowded with new commuters (Is this the bus to 777? does this train stop in Fairfield?). Train cars are so jammed with commuters that the conductors are unable to move through the cars to collect tickets. NY baseball fans are clogging up the commuter trains as well (don't blame them one bit! If we didn't get prepaid parking with our season tickets, I'd have taken the train to Shea!). Even the bike racks at the station are PACKED and people are locking their bikes to light poles, trees and the platform itself!

People are carpooling, combining errands, walking, biking, buying smaller cars, hybrid cars and generally traveling less. GM is going to stop producing Hummers. Actually, most auto manufacturers are scaling back on trucks and SUVs and stepping up production of more fuel efficient vehicles.

Looks like word made it to Wall St. because oil prices are finally starting to fall. I noticed last night that it is being reflected at the pump as well. While that is a step in the right direction, let's not blow it by jumping in to our old ways! Conserving fuel isn't just good for the pocketbook. It keeps our air cleaner and our bodies healthier (It's called exercise people!)!

Now, if we could only convince the powers that be that Ethanol is NOT a good idea we'd be in business.... stay tuned for an Ethanol rant.. I feel on coming on!

in the mean time, I will distract you with some knitting:

*This is not a racial comment. Habib actually does own the gas station on my corner....


TGIF 6/6

This has been an interesting exercise. Some weeks, the grats are pouring out, some weeks I'm stumped and still others I don't even want to think about it at all...

this week:

  • a pair of pairs of perfect pasties from my swap buddy
  • a sense of humor
  • patience
  • my raincoat
  • rain
  • tea
  • timing
  • my baby boys
  • my sewing machine (and the ability to use it!)
  • being a soccer (and hockey and karate) mom.
  • green green grass
  • pretty flowers in a vase
  • hugs & kisses
  • dry clothes
  • karma


It's a Classic

A friend of mine was comparing jury duty to Waiting for Godot. I've read Godot. I hated it. Some guy waiting for another idiot who never shows up. (which does sound a lot like jury selection.) What was the point? Yeah.. supposed to be a great work of literature. OK. Thanks for wasting my time.

I really don't get why something should be enjoyed or even considered good simply because it is a "classic". Another point would be Great Expectations. It fell far short of my expectations. I'd rather gouge out my eyes with a rusty spoon than read the Iliad or the Odyssey ever again.

Don't get me wrong, I do like some of the classics. Shakespeare, Poe, Yeats... love them... and others. I just feel obligated to enjoy anything labeled as a "classic", even if I don't really like it.

Now that I'm thinking about it, it really isn't limited to the classics. I tend to avoid anything that "everyone" seems to be reading and enjoying. I feel obligated to enjoy a book simply because it is a best seller, so I don't read it. I almost missed out on The Perfect Storm and the Harry Potter books for this reason. I am glad I didn't because they really were fantastic - far better than the movies. I still haven't read The Da Vinci Code. I need to get on that.

Give me Stephen King over Homer any day! Hmm.. guess I'm not a book snob.. oh well.. I like what I like.


Bag it. Tag it.

If you recall this post, I talked about my Chelsea tote. Well, I finally got pictures.

I saw that outer fabric and fell in love. not AT ALL what I was looking for, but it spoke to me. I picked it up at the Quilt Show from Woodstock Quilt Supply. They had the most amazing fabrics! TG they aren't any closer!
I have a snap press, so I added snap closures and the key fob you see snaps to the interior of the bag.


knitting -1 FO and 2 WIPs

I finally finished my Zaftig Tank. I added lenfth in a horseshoe lace. I increased the needle size a couple of times as I went down. I finished it off with a crochet BO. I also opted to sew the straps to the center back to make it a tank rather than halter. I have long hair - it knots.

you can't really see it in these pictures, but the last ball of yarn was a different dye lot (WHY didn't I check first???) I didn't notice until I was 2" into the lace and said "eff it"! Now, it still bothers me. it isn't distinct enough to look like an on-purpose stripe, and it isnt' close enough that it isn't noticable - well to me anyway. I'm considering a slight over-dye to attempt to even it out.
I have 2 things OTN right now.
I have a pair of shorties for Colin as my home/soccer project:
It is basically my "Twisted" pattern, but I did the cuffs in seed stitch and added crotch gussets.
My train/travel project is a pair of socks for Todd:
They are coming along, but he does have some big feet!
All the yarn in this post was from my trip to WEBS for the Harlot signing. There is still yarn in that stash for another pair of shorties, 1 more pair of socks for Todd and 2 pairs for me!


More Quilts

I finally remembered to take pictures of the post cards I received in the first quilted post card swap on Ravelry.


then these are the ones I sent - minus the one I sent to Mom. she still hasn't taken a picture for me and I keep forgetting when I'm there - like last night. I did them as a series. "Spring Flowers".

Now I need to get going on the second round... the first card has laready graced my mailbox!