Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pants for Riley

Justin's friend Riley had his third birthday party today. We went to the party and BBQ out at Sequoia park in Eureka and had a great time! Riley's mom Tracy likes hand made things, so I whipped out these cowboy pants the other afternoon for Riley. I found this adorable horse and cowboy themed embroidered brown cord fabric at the fabric store and knew it would be perfect for his pants. I was looking for brown pin striped fabric but couldn't find it, so I got brown and blue stripes instead and I really like how it compliments the cords. I improvised the button loops and thought they would be an interesting detail. The small details like this really add a lot to kids' clothing in my opinion. I can't wait to see a picture of Riley in his cowboy pants!

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Morning Without Sarah

Today was Sarah's first day as a fifth grader, wait...did I just say fifth grader? It's hard to believe she's already in the fifth grade now! She woke up at 7 sharp and was dressed and ready to go by 7:10, mind you school doesn't start until 8:30. "Mom, I need to be there by 8:00 because that's when the doors open", she says emphatically. I acquiesced, how could I not? She's in a 5th/6th grade combo class, and most of her friends are in the 5th grade class. I seemed more worried about this than she did to be honest.

After I dropped her off I took Justin out for a special mother son date. We went to Wildberries and he got a frosted owl cookie and juice. I got a mango strawberry smoothie, so good. When his owl was gone he wanted another one, this time it was a rabbit. Then we headed home and drove past the school since he was saying, "sis, sis, sis?" I had to remind him where she was, that she was ok, and that she would be home later. He seemed at peace after that until a little later when he blurted out, "Sawah?" This is the best pronunciation of her name I have ever heard him say. It's usually "see, say, see see, or awa", or some other form of the name. I think he was really desperate to communicate that he missed her, poor guy.

We got home and I read his special books, we played, then had lunch. One of his latest favorite foods is salsa, don't ask me why! He loves to gulp it down no matter how hot or spicy. Today he took his chips out of the bowl and before he dipped them in the salsa he started counting them, "one, two, one, two, one...." It was SO adorable! I tried to add three into the repertoire, but to no avail. One, two sounds better I guess. We played a little more, then it was nap time. I was tired too, but couldn't settle down for a nap....too worried. All day I've been wondering if she's ok, if the 6th graders are being nice to her, if she misses her friends, etc. I bet when I pick her up she's going to say she had the best day ever.

Update: Sarah had a great first day at school. She loves her teachers and her all that worry for nothing! I think Justin and I had a harder day than she did, but we're adjusting slowly.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

"Beach Reflections" Digital Triptych

(Double click on the image to see it larger.) Now that Justin is a little older I've had the chance to dive back into my creativity. I love to write, read, listen to music, and be out doors, but art is by far my first love. Besides painting and doing mosaics my next love is digital art. I took a class in college and was amazed with the diversity and creativity it lends itself to. The fact that you can manipulate images and add just about any effect you want is amazing to me. You can make pictures come alive and create a mood that no other medium even comes close to creating. I plan to go back to school in about a year and a half, (when Justin goes to pre-school), to get my degree in studio art, with an emphasis on digital art and design. I'm starting to get excited about finishing a life long dream to get my art degree, but that's another story for another day....
The Story
When the kids and I were up in Oregon this past summer I was determined to out to the beach and hunt for agates. My Grandma used to take me to the beach to go agate hunting when I visited her in the summers, and while I lived in her town for a few years. A visit just wouldn't be the same without a beach outing. So, my Aunt Mimi and Ruthie and I loaded the kids into the car and off we went. We made sure to go when it was low tide, so we had the best chance to see the rock beds. We got to the beach and the wind was whipping so fast it took my breath away. I had forgotten how cold and sharp the Oregon wind can be. But that didn't stop us. My aunts and Sarah looked for agates, and I looked after Justin and got a load full of pictures!
The Process
When I got home and saw the middle image (yellow coat), I knew these pictures were meant for a digital image. At first I was going to make three separate pictures, but decided a single triptych (meaning 3 images), would look best together in the same picture, (thanks for the advice Allison!) I've never done a digital image that turned out so simple, but I'm happy with the crisp lines and simplicity of it. I think my favorite part of the image is the upper left picture. I love the fact that there is a shadow and a reflection in the water at the same time, very cool.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Farmer's Market

This morning we headed off to our local farmer's market to buy some local organic veggies and breathe in the culture we know and love. The market is always set up at our town plaza, right smack dab in the middle of town, surrounded by the charming historic buildings and beautiful landscape of our town. The thing I like the most about our market is the amazing sense of community and culture I feel every time I go. I love being able to see friends I haven't seen in a while, friends I see a lot, and even acquaintances. Today we got to hear our area's best blue grass band, Huckleberry Flint, playing. We know most of the band members, so it was fun to get to come out and support them. The kids love farmer's market just as much as we do if not more. They like to run around and feel all the fruit and veggie textures, (much to the owners dislike at times!), watch the juggling acts and eat the home grown goodness. I love being able to just sit back and watch the sights, and for a moment I forget about all of the weekend's to do lists, chores, and mommy duties and get to soak in the flavor of our quaint little town. Today we filled our basket full to the brim with yummy fruits veggies, and even bought a gallon of locally made chai, yummy stuff. I'm glad I dragged myself out of bed and decided to go today, it was well worth it! (Sarah was here today, but she's in the "don't take my picture" mode now, and I wasn't able to steal any shots, which is why you don't see her here, ah well.)

There it is, our farmer's market in all its glory

Ron checking out the tomatoes he planned to use that night in a mozzarella/basil/tomato dish

Justin asked dad for a honey stick, and of course he got one

I love the look on his face here

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Congratulations Honey! (This is the big news)

I'm bursting my buttons with pride over Ron's latest achievement at work. After only about three months in his position at the hospital he has been promoted! He is now the Materials Supervisor for Redwood Memorial Hospital. Way to go babe! He has been told by his bosses that his attitude has changed his department substantially for the better.

I am so proud that he has worked incredibly hard and accomplished so much in such a short period of time. It seems that whatever endeavor he undertakes he pours his heart and soul into, and he manages to make the best of any situation no matter how difficult. From graduating in hopes to become a teacher and not being able to find a teaching position locally, then starting a coffee shop from the ground up and managing it well for two years, to working in hospital management - whatever circumstances life throws at him he is determined to make the best of it. He has been told by people that he "encourages them to be a better person." I am so blessed to be married to such a man of integrity and character! Thanks so much for all of your hard work and dedication to our family Ron, we love you!

To celebrate this great occasion I baked Ron a carrot cake (his favorite kind of cake), and decorated it with our garden flowers. Sarah hand made him a cute congratulations card.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Life Group

Recently we started hosting a life group for our church. We meet once a week at our house and discuss Sunday's sermon, pray, build relationship and eat cookies! It's been great having that mid week fellowship and encouragement, plus we love having people over too. Once a month we have a fun night, so a few weeks ago we lit a fire in our new above ground fire pit and roasted marshmellows and made smores. It was great fun!

Here is our group shot. The guy on the left is Jacob. He is planning to go on the mission field to Brazil in the fall, but he's here in the mean time.


I just finished my latest creation, it's a cute spaghetti strap sun dress. I fell in love with this Amy Butler fabric and knew I had to do something fun with it! I had this vintage embroidered piece and thought it went well with the fabric. I create my patterns, and this one was a bit harder than I had thought. The bodice is completely lined - lots of work, but it turned out well!

"Violet" Size 2T Created from Amy Butler fabric and vintage embroidered piece.

A Berry Fun Day

Yesterday the kids and I went black berry picking at the Arcata marsh and had a great time! The black berries are just getting ripe now, so we didn't get a ton, but I got a good 4 cups worth. I made a cobbler with them that afternoon and used pie crust for the "lid." We took the cobbler over to a friend's house for dessert. Here are a few pics of the day:

Justin on the trail having fun

Look at those beauties!

Mmmm, cobbler

Angel's Trumpet & more blooms

My all time favorite flowers have finally bloomed! I am in love with Angel's Trumpet; they are so beautiful and I love their delicate peachy pink color. Ron just informed me that they are deadly if consumed in large amounts though! So don't let your little ones munch on these beauties. I snapped a few more pics of the other pretty flowers in bloom right now. I love the fact that when one flower stops blooming another one starts!
Blooming Angel's Trumpet

Butterfly Bush - These smell divine!

Sweet Peas - These will add sweet fragrance to an entire room!

I love the coral color of these roses

Sunflowers - I never get tired of them

"Weeding Time"

Justin has become an avid "weeder." He regularly brings books to whoever is willing to read to him and says, "weed, weed!" He is able to identify many of the letters of the alphabet already and will point to words and ask what the letters are if he doesn't know them. It looks like I have another reader on my hands already! His very favorite book is a Curious George book, "Curious George Rides A Bicycle", and of course the book must be read at least four times per sitting! I snapped a pic of this cute "weeding" session a few days ago. It's rare to find them both experiencing moment of stillness, so I grabbed the camera quickly!

another intellectual in the making

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back to Blogging

Hi Friends! After a long 9 month break I'm back to blogging! My break began when our computer hard drive got sick, then life got busy I quit blogging. Recently someone advised me to take the plunge and start again. I've missed blogging, and I'm glad to be back! Here is a quick re-cap of the highlights from the past 9 months, (starting recent and going back.)

Monday, August 18, 2008

I'm a designer now...sort of! & Justin's quilt

I've been contemplating creating a vintage style kids' clothing line for a long time now. Well, the time has finally come. I recently checked out an amazingly cool store in Eureka called Shipwreck. This is my kind of store! It's like etsy, only you get to see and feel the items first hand! The store has all kinds of cool vintage things from pottery to suit cases. It also features local boutiqueish hand made items. The store owner told me she is always looking for new sellers, and after thinking about it I decided I would go for it. Honestly, the store was what inspired me. I believe in supporting the local artists and local stores here in Humboldt, and what better way to do it than to create a kids' clothing line and sell it locally? Here are a few shots of my first creations. I appreciate feedback, so let me know what you think! I'm working on dresses now, and pants will follow....

"Bluebell" Size 18-24 months. Made from repro vintage fabrics & a vintage embroidered napkin.

vintage embroidered napkin detail

"Apple Blossom" Size 2 T Made from repro vintage fabrics & vintage pillow case lace.

Cargo pocket detail

Justin's Quilt

Justin's quilt is finally done at long last! I worked on it from when he was about 6 months old, and finished it around his 2nd b-day, so it took about a year and a half. It is my first pieced quilt ever and I had it machine quilted at Scottie Dog Quilts (Thanks Liz!) Now that I have two kids there just isn't time for things like hand quilting any more! Justin loves his quilt although he insists on using it as a floor mat, (I think the reason for this is that I had it laid out on the floor for months while I was designing it.) :)

I love my new floor mat...I mean quilt, mom!

At Ron's suggestion I put the colors in diagonal rows, a boy quilt must have male influence I say.

Close up of the quilt block, these took forever to cut and piece, but the end result was well worth it!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Seascapes Dance Performance

Sarah had her Spring ballet performance in June and it was incredible! The performance was in the Van Duzer (Humboldt State University's Theater.) The dances were all based on various sea creatures and sea life. Sarah was a damsel fish. I had the privilege of being able to work on costumes, props and set design. I painted the clam shell and treasure box you can see in one of the pics. I learned how to construct hats out of foam, wow was that an experience! It was much more challenging than I would have thought. You sculpt the foam with a razor blade, (very carefully!) I made and painted the damsel fish fin hats for Sarah's class (9 students in all.) I also made a puffer fish costume and hat, dolphin hats, painted the sea turtles, worked on the sea rock, and did more that I can't remember!

Our beautiful damsel fish
Seascapes Set (Clam Shell & Treasure Box I painted)

Some of the dancers the night before the performance painting UV light paint on the turtles I painted. When the lights went out in the dress rehearsal the cracks in the turtle didn't show up (they were supposed to be bright blueish) so we had to coat them the night before and they looked fantastic the day of the show!

Sarah with her dance teacher Erin - we love her!

After the show

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Garden

This year Ron planted a veggie garden in addition to his usual green thumb splendor. We had broccoli, lettuce, sweet peas, tomatoes and carrots! I've enjoyed delicious home grown salads all summer, ahhhh! I don't have pics of the veggies, but I did take some of the amazing flowers! I love the fact that I have such a talented gardener for a husband! I get to enjoy, eat, and photograph the fruit of all of his hard work.

Sunflowers in full bloom
Astilbee - my favorite
Lamb's ear...I think
Astilbee & Geraniums
This kid loves to water. He would water all day if we would let him!

Trip to North Bend, OR

Trip to North Bend, OR

The kids and I headed up north for a week vacation on the Oregon Coast. We had a great time visiting family, (we stayed with my Aunt Mimi, thanks Mimi!) going to the beach, and hanging out on the family farm. Here are a few pics from our trip:

The beautiful Shore Acres Botanical Gardens

Sarah taking pics with her great kid camera

Justin braving the wind, brrr, it was cold! We went hunting for agates, but only found a few that day. It was fun none the less...

Justin had his first official hair cut done by my aunt Becky. Here is the before...
...and after! Thanks auntie, I can see again!

We took a visit out to see my aunt Julie and her lovely garden at the farm. There is a beautiful old walnut tree there which has been there forever. My family decided it would be the final resting place for my grandparents, so we go there to visit them.

A friend made the wooden plaque which reads: Papa's Tree, Psalm 1.
It's a perfect tree for climbing, so the kids had to climb on up there. I know Papa and De Dee were smiling!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Justin's 2nd Birthday!

Justin turned 2 March 31st! It's hard to believe he is almost 2 1/2 now, time flies! We had his party at Redwood Park. Here are a few pics from his small party:

Mmmm, carrot cake!
Our wee tree hugger
Thanks so much for coming Isaac! You're a true friend! :)