Thursday, February 26, 2009

Get in gear...

Thanks for listening to me gripe about my household management issues the other day. It's just one of those things that irks me, and I was in a moody place, so it all came out in a bit of a rant, I guess. Rob and I can laugh about our differences--he knows that I don't want him to do the dishes, but I do want him to WANT to do the dishes. And I do give him credit when he does want to do the dishes. (But like he says, why would he ever want to do dishes?)

Anyway, while I was busy bitching, our little gathering was multiplying! What started out as a small gathering of maybe three more adults and the five kids that go with them has morphed into eleven adults and eleven kids! Yikes!

Add to that the fact that I keep dragging my feet on making this birthday present for a party on Saturday...and you can see that I'm going to be a busy girl. As a plus, I'll probably sleep very well on Sunday night.

I'll be back on Monday with pictures!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I do believe February has caught up with me. Maybe I'm not in a full-on funk, but I am feeling frustrated...

I'd like to spend the day sewing and knitting, but Rob's sisters and one of his cousins are coming out on Sunday, so I need to begin making the house company-ready. Unfortunately for me, that phrase means different things to me and Rob. For Rob, it means the house must look like the freakin' Waldorf-Astoria. And I hate when he cleans. Have I mentioned that before? Well, I can't stand it. I'm not sure if it's because I feel like I'm being judged--like I don't keep a clean enough house--but I'm about ready to let go of that. I think it's partly his competitive nature--he's the oldest, so he should have the nicest (and hence cleanest?) house. Let's not delve any further into the psychology here.

Mostly I hate when he cleans because he doesn't do it the way I do it. You know what I mean, right? When I clean the bathroom, I use any old used washcloth lying around, and when I'm done, I toss it in the washing machine. I can't tell you how many paper towels were harmed during his last cleaning frenzy. He's all about chemicals! It makes me crazy. This is why, after my second cup of coffee, I'm going to get started. If I can clean for an hour or so each day, I should have it done by Sunday--or done enough that all we'll have to do on Sunday is repair the damage the kids will have inflicted on Saturday!

And this cleaning plan should give me time to do a little more sewing. I do have to make a birthday present by Saturday--for a five year old boy. Not easy to figure what home-made thing a boy is going to like (since my five year old boy thinks most of what I make is stupid).

The purpose for Sunday's visit is a triple birthday celebration (one belated, two early). That will give me an excuse to hang this: our new family birthday banner!
This is also from Stitched in Time, and it was much more fun to make than the heart garlands. I tell you, having to sew, stuff, and embroider around those hearts just about put me over the edge! But this was a fairly quick project. It's all machine-stitched, and the most difficult part was choosing the fabrics.
Caitlin's birthday party is in a couple of weeks, and I can tell you this place is going to be fairy central! I'm still waiting on a delivery from Oriental Trading, and then I'm going to be painting fairy wings and sewing fairy skirts into the wee hours. I guess it's a good thing I have to clean the house this week, because there is so much crafting to be done between now and April first, I'm not going to have time to clean later.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Yellow #5

I ordered "cream." When it arrived, I thought to myself, "that's yellow!"

This baby kimono (from Mason-Dixon Knitting) is a shower gift for Caitlin's teacher. The shower is taking place this afternoon, so what a fitting way to end yellow week.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Yellow #4

and Dinner.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Yellow #2

With a title like that, you'd think I would have a picture of pencils, right? No, Erin did that beautifully yesterday (and all the pencils we have are of the decorated/seasonal variety--they seem to be popular giveaways at class parties).

For today's bit of yellow, here are some items I spied on top of the fridge yesterday.
For me, the real surprise was not the fact that I have a laser level and a game on top of the fridge--the surprise was that they're both yellow!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Yellow #1

Erin is hosting a Yellow Week this week. This is going to tougher than I had thought. I don't have much yellow around the house. It is way too early for my daffodils to come out, so I'll have to stop by the market this week (since I never did buy any flowers last week).

So here's a bit of yellow that is always on display in my kitchen. The rubber gloves. I've been wearing rubber gloves to clean dishes since my early twenties. I love it--I can let the water get really hot.

I look forward to seeing the lovely, sunny yellow images that crop up in Blogland this week. It'll be nice to have a dash of springy color, won't it?

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Megapixels, baby

I finally installed the software for this new camera--I'm up to 10 megapixels! I have no idea what that means as a practical matter; I just know I've doubled my megapixels from the old camera.

And since most of the past week was pictureless, here are more pictures than you could ever want:

Last Sunday we went for a walk around a local park to celebrate the semi-warmth.

Mama got in a shot, too.

Yesterday afternoon I made shortbread cookies. This afternoon I'm going to dip them in chocolate, because it's not enough that the recipe called for three sticks of butter. They also need chocolate.
This morning. Here are the kids in their Chunky Knit Beanies, pattern courtesy of Leslie. Caitlin has been wearing hers all day.

Heart-shaped pancakes. Caitlin woke in the night with yet another nosebleed, and all she could talk about was could she have heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast. Of course!

Here is mama's Valentine's present. And this will explain my sudden disappearance next week.

Maybe after all that reading, I'll get around to organizing what was once our dining room.

After all, I will have some birthday projects to start soon.
Happy Valentine's day to you all.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Quick Thoughts

I'm already searching for patterns for spring and summer dresses...this week's warm weather is seriously messing with my mind! At least I'm still knitting away on my first sweater, so when the snow returns, I'll have some "wintery" craft to keep me sane.

In keeping with the spring wishes, I think I need to get some fresh flowers in the house. Nothing fancy, maybe some tulips or daffodils. You know, something with a huge carbon footprint because it had to be shipped from South America...I'm going to have to let that guilt go! I hope the mark-up for those flowers isn't too bad this week. This really is the wrong week to buy flowers--this is the week of the $100 dozen roses. Maybe with the economy such a wreck roses are slightly just makes me sick how they jack up the price for Valentine's day.

What else...I am drowning in the piles of clean but unfolded laundry yet again...and the just plain dirty clothes are gaining on me.

Also, Gwyneth Paltrow, look out. Caitlin is after your husband. The whole family watched 60 Minutes on Sunday night (that had to be a first). We watched the interview with Sully. He is one seriously cool customer--I'd fly every day if he could be the pilot! The other story of the night was about Coldplay, and that is when Caitlin announced that Chris Martin was cute and she wanted to marry him. And now every time we get into the car, all the kids are bugging me to play Coldplay. Hey--it's soooo much better than the Wiggles!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Make up your own adventure

Feel free to make up your own story about where I've been the past week. Maybe I've been somewhere warm and sunny, with soft white sand and clear blue waters. Maybe I've been lounging at a spa while a team of maids scrubs my house from top to bottom. Those sound good, right?

In truth, I've been right here--struggling to find some balance between crafting and housework, some balance between having enough and wanting more. The weather warmed up over the weekend, so we've been trying to absorb as much semi-warmth and sunshine as we can. You know the clouds will be back.
Valentine's Day is looming large--so many started projects, so little time to complete them! Rob got me a new camera (we're calling it a Valentine's gift--really, Circuit City finally increased the discount to 30%), so I have to load that software onto the computer before I can post some of those pictures. Unfortunately, having a new camera doesn't mean I'm suddenly going to begin taking beautiful pictures with interesting composition, etc, but it is small enough to fit into my pocket, so at least I can have it with me more often. And eventually I'll get around to reading the manual...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

If It's Snowing, It Must Be Tuesday

Here we go again. For what must be the third Tuesday in a row, there is snow and/or the threat of snow today. On Tuesday nights, Caroline has dance class at 6:30--I can't decide if I like having to go out at that hour...but I'm always looking for an evening off. So it has been snowing on and off for most of the day--small flakes, not really covering much. I'm not getting my hopes up for a night off.

Does your family eat out at restaurants? We eat out. A lot. Like at least twice a weekend. I think that's a lot, don't you? And it is very expensive! This month--and yes, it's the shortest month, so it's kinda like cheating, but still--we're trying an experiment, and I'm telling you all about it to help me/us be accountable. And we decided this after eating lunch out (again cheating), but the Evans Family is not going to eat out for the rest of February.
I like to cook, but it can get tedious! I think it's the menu planning that I dislike most. Some weeks I'm into it; some weeks I'm just throwing together whatever I have. Rob works late (until 7 or 8) most nights--and add a commute of up to 45 minutes depending on which office he's in, so family dinner just doesn't happen during the week. Tonight, for example, he works until 7. He's also in one of his farthest offices, so if he leaves on time, he'll be home around 7:45. I will also be home around that time because of the aforementioned dance class. And now I have to go work on the lasagne (a new recipe from Apples for Jam--I plan on serving it to the kids, so I'll let you know how that goes)--it's one of those dishes I can serve at 5:30 and again at 8:00. Gotta love those re-heatable dishes!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Shake it off

Ever have one of those mornings? Where you're very nearly yelling as you try to get the kids ready for school? And then the first grader breaks down into a screaming crying tantrum in the drop off line? And she refuses to get out of the car? And once she does get out of the car, she walks back over to the car to stick her tongue out at you?

Sigh. I have poured a second cup of coffee and am keeping a watchful eye on the dog. He has decided over the last day that the inside is just as good a place as the yard for relieving himself. I'll be busy later this morning cleaning up from all this fun.

Let's move on to more fun things, shall we?

It's February second, so let's unveil the February Sew Connected block:

Stephanie requested something linear and modern for a quilt for her soon-to-be-born son. This came together pretty quickly for me. I think I like working with restrictions instead of being free to do whatever I dream up.
On Friday, the first grade celebrated Chinese New Year. They made these robes out of pillowcases--it's decorated on the back, but I had to show that sweet face (the very same face that was sticking out her tongue at me this morning). Gung Hay Fat Choy, everyone!