Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sing Louder!

Ron sent out a bulletin today on My Space. I thought it was so profound I would post it here:

During World War Two there were churches near the train tracks in many German towns. Trains full of
condemned Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, and the retarded passed by at all hours of the day, every day. The Sunday service would often be interrupted by the cries of desperation from the boxcars full of those on their way to the gas chambers and death camps. It is reported that as the trains passed and the cries were noticed the organ would strike up a hymn and the people would begin to sing. If the sound from outside overcame them an encouragement to “Sing Louder!” was called out.

I say this not to condemn people of faith for errors of the past, but to recognize that those who have been given much have much required of them.
If one sees an offence to God and Humanity and does nothing then is there any difference from those who honored the call to “Sing Louder!” ?

Be the change that makes a difference in your community.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Home Grown Cherry Tomatoes

After months of anticipation, watering and shelter our cherry tomatoes are ripe and ready for eating! They are delicious...perfect in every way. It is difficult to grow tomatoes here in Humboldt County due to the lack of sun and moisture. But, with lots of care it can be done as you can see! I'm going to toss some of these in my salad today, yum! Thanks Ron for more garden goodness!

Friday, September 26, 2008

20 Things That Make Me Happy Lately

I've seen this done on other blogs, so I'm stealing the idea because I thought it was such a good one! Here goes:

20 things that make me happy lately:

1. Freshly folded laundry.

2. Justin's tiny little feet stretching first thing in the morning, ahhhh.

3. The fog rolling in late afternoon, and the pinkish reflection of the sun on it.

4. The fact that I actually de-cluttered my bedroom and can see the top of my dresser now!

5. Going to ballet class finally after ten years of saying I would.

6. Walk slowly live wildly blog (I have a link to it here - it's fabulous!)

7. Hearing Justin "saying his abc's" - a, b, dub, yyy, z!

8. Saturday afternoon family time when we all just hang out in the living room together. Some of us read, some (usually Ron), work on the lap top. Just being together even in silence is wonderful.

9. Hearing Sarah practice her flute.

10. Being almost done with all my kids clothing!

11. Walking around on the plaza, or driving by it early morning before any of the shops have opened up, it's so peaceful then.

12. My Grandma's antique lunch pail recipe box. (I'll post a pic of it sometime.)

13. The luscious smell of brownies baking.

14. Watching Justin and Ron cook together - "Jutin stir! Jutin stir."

15. The fact that Ron has his own phone line at work!

16. The smell of air dried laundry.

17. Watching people do things they thought they wouldn't be able to accomplish.

18. Knowing God loves me no matter what.

19. Peaceful mornings.

20. Dreaming for the future.

Ok, now let's see if anyone is reading my blog! ;) What makes you happy lately? (Any number of things you like.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mom's Night Out

A few years ago I joined a local mommy's group. It's been great for Justin to hang out with kids his own age once a week, and of course just as great for mom to have other moms to connect with as well. It's so nice to have women around your age, (I'm the oldest in the group!), who can share in the joys and challenges of being a mom. We had a mom's night out on the town tonight at a yummy local Mexican restaurant. They have the best food, and oh so good margaritas! I think about half of our group showed up, and we had a great time.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Scottie Dog Cords

Have you ever noticed it's near impossible to find cute affordable boy clothes? I've been working on designing cute boy pants because there's nothing cuter than a boy in stylin' pants! I found a royal blue cord and contrasting vintage repro scottie dog print fabric for these. I love how they turned out. It's going to be hard for me to let these go! Justin is a 3T, so he got to model these for me! If you click on the pic below you can see the scottie dog print, so cute.

"Scottie Dog" size 3-4T. Made from cords, repro vintage print and vintage buttons

North Country Fair

Once a year every September our town has an arts and crafts fair known as the North Country Fair. Our craft fair is one of the most unique fairs I've ever encountered, much like the town we live in. Boothes line the plaza and artist sell their wares. One can find jewelry, ceramics, pottery, mosaics, crafts, hand sewn items, you name it. (Ron bought me a hand made bag as an early b-day present!) A variety of dance performances go on from belly dancing to swing. On Saturday the All Species Parade took place. This is the best part of the fair in my opinion. People dress up like animals and march around the plaza in a tribal fashion...like I said, unusual. Here are a few pics from today's festivities!

Ron and Justin checking out the scene

Justin and his hand made pottery "cat" mug dad bought him

flamenco dancers performing

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Ma Ma's Helper Apron and "Daisy"

Here are some of my latest makins'! When I was around 12 my grandma taught me how to make apron patterns. I never forgot how to do it, so I constructed this 2-4T apron and it was quick and easy. I like how the color combo turned out, and the contrasting button pulls it all together.

I fell in love with this daisy print fabric for these little girl pants! I found vintage buttons that look like they were made to go with the daisy print fabric. These are number 7 & 8, so I only need 2 more items and I can take them down to Shipwreck, wohoo!

Ma Ma's Helper Apron. Size 2-4T. Made from recycled paisley print fabric, contrasting batik fabric for pocket and waistband/strings, and vintage button.

"Daisy" Size 1T. Made from daisy print fabric, pink polka dot print fabric, and pink vintage flower buttons.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tap Dancin' on the Table

Today Justin and I went to our local music store to pick up a beginning flute book for Sarah. She has decided to try flute this year and is quite excited about it! She really enjoyed the violin last year, but wants to branch out and try a wood wind instrument this year.

So, after a little searching we found the book and went to the register to pay for it. A girl walked into the store and asked for some change in ones. It was obvious that she knew the guys working there. One of them said, "Ok, but only if you do a tap dance on the counter for us." "Ok then", she replied. So the guy quickly picked up the things that were lying on the counter, and she proceeded to hop on up there and bust out a good tap dance...on the counter...in her tennis shoes! It was truly awesome; one of those moments when I wish I had my camera on me, because I would have taken a picture of her....to add to the blog of course! As she was tapping away Justin, who was standing in front of the counter, had the most priceless look on his face - it was a combination of shock and terror all at once. One of the guys commented that he must think these people at the music store are crazy, and I had to agree. As I was walking out I said, "Ok, next time I come here I'll be expecting another tap dance on the counter!" The cashier said, "Not likely, for another thirty years or so." I was just happy I was in the right place at the right time to see a stranger tap dancing on a counter.....

until I got home and realized that the painted train whistle I bought for Justin is made in China. Now I need to go and get a lead test kit for it. But, over all it was a pretty great morning, very memorable indeed!

Monday, September 15, 2008

My Child is a Genius

Today I was going over the alphabet with Justin, and I thought I would test him to see how many letters he knew. I knew he was familiar with A, B, and C, as well as others but I'd never tested him from A to Z. So we're going along and he gets those down, then he moves on to D, E, F, and everything between G and N is S. I think that is his letter for, "I don't know." He proceeds to T and goes all the way to Z with the exception of Q and R!! My two and a half year old knows 16 letters of the alphabet already. I was shocked, mainly because this kid has been such a slow talker, and even now he doesn't talk a lot, really. But this kid is into letters and "reading." He is always pointing at the letters in words if he doesn't know them and asks me what they are. So I've started spelling out simple words to him and explaining how the letters make up words, etc. It may be way over his head, but I figure it can't hurt and it will help most likely in any event. It's late now, but more on this topic to come....

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Reusable Veggie Bags

I've been working for a friend of mine sewing reusable veggie bags. They're made out of cheese cloth material. They're a great way to bag up your veggies, (and fruits), while being kind to the planet. They also help produce stay fresh, and you can get them damp for veggies like lettuce. You can buy them at Wildberries now under the label Beautiful Earth. They cost $3.99 for a small and $4.99 for a large, or $15 for 2 small and 2 large - what a great deal! I love being able to support Eco friendly ideas, and what a better way then to help sew these cool bags? If anyone local has ideas of other places these could be sold let me know!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Getting Into Digital Art & Design

Recently our church asked for graphic design/art volunteers. Of course I jumped at the chance! They asked me to work on a graphic for our next series: eighteen///3. In a nut shell it involves our church working with kids through mentoring and other amazing ways. If you're interested in finding out more about the series you can go to my link for Catalyst - my church. I don't think the graphic is up on the web site yet, but it will be soon.

It was so much fun working on this graphic. I absolutely love Photoshop and I could spend hours, (seriously), working on images. I got this photo on line, tweaked it a bit, then found a cool font and messed around with it. Ron helped me out since he has had experience with designing.

Part of the reason I was excited to do this graphic is that I plan to go back to school to finish up my art degree with the ultimate goal of becoming a graphic designer. It has been a life time dream of mine to get an art degree. I was able to get an AA in transfer studies and art, so all of my general ed is out of the way, wohoo! When I go back I will be able to take art classes with a focus in graphic design. Justin will be going to pre-school in about a year and a half and I plan to take classes while he is in school. So, that's the big plan I have coming up in the near future...stay posted, more to come on this!

This Morning's Entertainment

This morning as soon as Justin got up he headed straight down to our bed, (of course), and we had our weekend family cuddle time. Justin loves to stack up the pillows, climb up onto them, and launch himself as high as he can possibly go. Thank goodness Ron and I are on either side of the bed and have learned to be quick catchers! Anyway, this morning he decided all of a sudden that jumping time was over and it was time to read. He grabbed his Curious George book and said loudly, "READ, READ!" This is his way of saying - read to me now! We were in the middle of talking, (not the best time probably!), and Ron said, "Justin, read the book in your head." Justin promptly took the book, opened it up and placed it directly on top of his head. I laughed so hard and could not stop! It's so hilarious at times to watch kids figuring out the idiosyncrasies of communication and language. I could see how putting the book on top of his head made perfect sense to him. It's fun to get a peek into how kids think, and of course we get to be highly entertained and amused in the process as well!

Here he is Lori, with the book on his head, and thumb in his mouth.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"I get by with a little help from my friends..."

So last week was one of those weeks....one of those hit rock bottom, end of your rope, I can't do this anymore!!! weeks. I was doing some serious naval gazing and feeling very sorry for myself. Just picture Eeyore on steroids. About the time I started to question the very existence of the universe, (ok, that's a bit dramatic, but you get the picture), an old friend called. She is what I call a comfort food friend. "April, I had a dream about you, I just felt like I needed to call you." I hadn't talked to her in three years. She is one of those friends who has been there for me no matter what. She's seen me during my highs and lows, when I was on the mountain top, and when I hit the valley. She's known me pre marriage and pre kids, in my most beautiful moments and in my ugliest...and she is still my friend. We can pick up where we left off even if it's been years. It felt so wonderful to hear her voice and to be able to share with her what was going on in my life. She didn't judge me; she just listened patiently and told me to call her any time I needed to, no matter what. This meant the world to me.

Then a few days later another good friend called, who I hadn't talked to in a year. He is another friend who has been there through hard times and good times. He was our family nurse, (well, he was our neighbor, but when Sarah was sick I'd call him over for a house call, just to make sure she was ok.) It felt good to know that he was thinking about us, and even stuck in city traffic he picked up the phone and called little 'ol us.

About four days later yet another old friend called! I hadn't talked to her in years as well. I've known her since I was about 12, and she is a wonderful person. She has had so many trials in her life, but she always finds a way to laugh in spite of it all.

Then I was also able to connect with some old school friends through face book of all places. People who's parents knew mine in high school before we were even thought of - cradle to grave friends. We teased one another, called each other those dreaded nick names, and promised to catch up over coffee when I go home for Christmas.

I still find it amazing that the God of the universe cares about me like this. Little old me living in a tiny town in Northern California, living an average life. Little old me complaining and whinning, feeling sorry for myself. None of my little problems are too small for Him to consider...and best of all He calls me a friend.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Back to Ballet

My old toe shoes hanging on Sarah's door.

Last night I took a ballet class for the first time in about ten years! I can't believe it's been that long...wow. I started taking ballet in high school and loved it. I went to a really good performing arts high school that had a good multi faceted dance program. I also did worship dance at my church, led a dance team, and took some folk dancing classes. In college I continued to take dance. In my early twenties I taught children's dance through a recreation center. I quit dancing around the time Sarah was born, (yeah, kids are a major life change), and I always promised myself I would do it again...soon. But, the timing just never seemed to be right. I couldn't find the right teacher, and life was busy with Ron going to school full time. I was a full time stay at home mom of course, and somehow dancing just didn't happen. People always encouraged me to dance saying things like, "You're such a beautiful dancer, when are you going to dance again?" "Soon!" I would say, of course.

I have to say I regret not going back sooner. My muscles had a rough time remembering what to do, (let alone doing it), and after the class I felt like my body had been through a meat grinder; it hurt let me tell you! But, I don't regret it a bit, it was totally worth the pain. My teacher is Sarah's dance teacher, and she was so kind to me. I'm really grateful she is letting me take the class. It is beginning ballet after all, but still I feel like I'm starting from scratch all over again. My brain knows what to do, but my body is....well, a bit behind. It's a good challenge for me though, great exercise, and most of all it's fun. I love dancing and always have. There's something amazing about expressing creativity through motion and movement. I'm always in awe of how God created our bodies to move.

Monday, September 1, 2008


I finished #5 of the 10 outfits I need to take down to Shipwreck to sell. I'm half way there, wohoo!

Did you ever wonder how clothing patterns are made? If so, you get the "April" version of how it's done, right here on my blog. First, I get the measurements for the size I need, (in this case 3T), then I usually find a pattern similar to the one I want to create in the same size. Using the measurements and shoulder/under arm measurements from the pattern I pencil a rough sketch of the pattern out on newspaper - (see bottom pic.) I'm always sure to add in the seam allowance, and I pin the pattern together to make sure I have a good fit. Usually I end up altering the pattern about 3 times before I get it just right. That happened today, and I ended up needing to actually take the bodice of the dress in after I had sewn it. (I got to try the dress on Justin since he's a 3T, lucky guy! I was glad I had a model who was the size I needed today, that's a rarity!) This isn't ideal, and usually I'm able to get the measurements right when I make my pattern. Then, I add my embellishments, in this case pillow case lace and a vintage button. That's all there is to it, you should try it sometime! It's a fun process, and when you're done you have the satisfaction of knowing you designed your very own pattern.

"Hyacinth" Size 3T. Made from repro vintage fabric, vintage pillow case lace and a vintage flower button.

Bodice close up - The blue flower button is so sweet. (click on the pic to enlarge.)

Here's what I started out with today: repro vintage fabric, vintage pillow case lace and button, and a newspaper pattern.