Wednesday, May 27, 2009


We had gorgeous weather for our long holiday weekend, so we got our gardens planted with no troubles at all. The new part of the herb garden looks a little spare right now, but it will fill in as things grow. I also planted some nasturtium seeds. I don't know if I'll actually eat it (I don't think I can bring myself to eat a flower), but they will look pretty when they bloom.
This columbine is currently in a pot in the herb garden, waiting patiently for me to put it in its permanent home, somewhere else in the yard.
We planted our vegetable plot in the community garden, too, mostly from seed, but we did buy tomato and pepper seedlings, and we're waiting on broccoli seedlings. Every nursery we visited or phoned over the weekend was out of broccoli, but they all said they should have some on Wednesday. Hmm. I guess a big broccoli seedling truck will be pulling into town today!

We had lovely sunshine all weekend long for planting, now today it has been raining, so I don't have to worry about walking over to water. Perfect.

Friday, May 22, 2009

More Paper Cutting

This paper cutting thing could be addictive. It takes so little time to make something pretty, I almost feel like I'm cheating! I traced a couple of applique designs onto patterned paper, cut along the lines, sprayed some glue on the back, stuck them to blank cards, and voila! Finished. (This is actually probably more of an applique-with-paper craft than it is traditional paper cutting with all its fancy curlicues and mirror images, but I'm being generous with the definition for my own purposes here.)

I made these as thank you cards for my daughter's science coaches. They are two moms who volunteer their time to help our students enter the science competition. Their creativity and enthusiasm have really inspired my daughter's love of rocks. My daughter painted two rocks to give to them, but she wouldn't let me photograph those to share here. Any time I post anything about my son or daughter, I ask their permission first. Sometimes they say yes, but a lot of times they say no. I hate it when they say no!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Herb Garden

I spent the afternoon re-reading this sweet gardening book. We will plant our garden this weekend, so I'm mentally shifting gears from school stuff to home stuff.

The space for my herb garden at home expanded last year, and I wanted to do something great with it. Unfortunately the greatness hasn't happened yet. We grow oregano, chives, sage, parsley, dill, sweet basil, and lavender. I have space for much more. I use the community garden plot for all of my vegetables, although I was thinking I could throw a tomato plant in the herb garden to fill it up if necessary. Anyone care to suggest something else we could grow in the herb garden? Maybe something unexpected?

Monday, May 18, 2009

Crazy week, quiet Sunday

Last week was hectic. My husband and I organize my daughter's elementary school's participation in the annual county-wide science competition (blogged here last year). This is something we work on for most of the school year, but the week leading up to the Big Day is always crazy, because no matter how prepared we are, there is always a last minute crisis or two to keep things exciting. We weathered it all, and seeing all of the energized kids this past Saturday made all of our efforts so worthwhile. Seeing our daughter and her two teammates stand up on stage receiving the first place medal for the 3rd grade rocks test put the icing on the cake!
After that crazy week and even crazier Saturday, I needed to have a quiet Sunday, so I spent yesterday afternoon trying something new: paper cutting. I have been wanting to try it for awhile, and seeing Glenda's cuttings of this pattern on her blog, Wren and Stitchy, a few weeks ago was the kick in the pants I needed to finally give this craft a try. I love the serenity of this pattern from Fog and Thistle, and it looked like a good one for a beginner. I also really liked how Glenda used patterned paper for her cuttings, as I've only seen cuttings done in plain paper. The patterned paper looks like fabric. Thanks for that idea, Glenda! I'm really pleased with how it turned out. The quiet focus of working on this was just what I needed after the stress of last week.

Now I'm gearing up for all of the end-of-school-year craziness of ice cream socials, picnics, field days, concerts, and, for my middle-school son, end-of-year long-term projects. This week is a lull, but after Memorial Day, it will be sheer hysteria until mid June!

Monday, May 11, 2009

My new iPhone

Happy Mother's Day a day late to all you fabulous moms out there. You know who you are :)

My daughter made me flowers out of dryer sheets, twisted together with pipe cleaner stems and dipped in paint for color. This was her teacher's idea. I love it when teachers are moms, too. They always make sure the kids bring something home for Mother's Day. The flowers are so cute, but gah, the smell is overwhelming. I feel like I'm being poisoned! I have had to place them in a plastic bag and put them in a remote part of the house.

Most years I don't want anything for Mother's Day other than handmade cards and a little handmade something or other, but this year I thought I'd ask for an iPhone. I'm completely seduced by that little gadget, and know I would have so much fun playing with one. Realistically I know it's not something I need, and I also knew there was no way my husband would be on board with something so expensive, so my asking for one was a bit of a joke. I also thought it was good for the kids to know that even moms and dads want things they just aren't going to get.

I dropped hints about an iPhone for weeks, and the little kid in me started to think "Wow, what if I really DO get an iPhone for Mother's Day? Wouldn't that be so awesome?" I was actually kind of excited about it! And to my surprise, my family did not disappoint!

Behold my new "eye" phone!
My husband picked up this old phone at a thrift store, and he and the kids had a ball decorating it with googly and hand drawn eyes. They think they are so clever!

My daughter's been calling her friends, telling them "I'm calling you on my mom's new eye phone!" I think this eye phone is way cooler than an iPhone.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ahh, spring

Spring is well and truly here. Ahhhh. The neighborhood is bursting with pinks and whites and soft greens. The morning walk to school is so pleasant. The wind doesn't bite, the sidewalks aren't slippery. Hooray.

I took my camera on the walk this morning. The light is more favorable as we walk to school because the sun is behind us, but we never leave early enough for me to stop and snap photos on the way there. After I drop my daughter off, I walk back home into the sun, which makes the colors change. Things look harsher, less soft. I take moments to turn around and walk backwards, just to see things all soft and pretty again.

Back in November I blogged about the Mt. Airy Fothergilla under my front window, admiring their fiery autumn beauty. Here they are flowering in spring. I love these shrubs! So happy to have them.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Little Elephant

Today is my sister-in-law's 40th birthday. She is younger than I am (cough, cough), so I can't really poke fun at her.

To mark this milestone birthday, my daughter and I made a small embroidered quilt for her. My 6 year old nephew (who is sister-in-law's son) recently started drawing elephants. For the longest time he struggled to make any recognizable shapes, then all of a sudden these marvelous elephants started emerging from the end of his crayons. His drawings are absolutely delightful, full of character and originality. They look like drawings adults make when adults are trying to make kid-like art, if that makes any sense. My nephew drew some elephants when he was here a few weeks ago, and when he tacked them up on my refrigerator, I thought a-ha, now I know exactly what to do for my sister-in-law's birthday!

I was going to embroider the elephant myself, but my daughter really wanted to do it, and how could I say no to that? I transferred the elephant to fabric, and she did most of the embroidery, everything but the eye and the tail. I sewed it all into a small quilt, slightly smaller than a pot holder, and put a jute hanger on it.

We hand-delivered it today, and mother and son were very surprised and happy. I think the mother may have a hard time convincing the son it is hers, and not his! I think I foresee more elephant embroidery in my future.